The Patriots spent Monday night watching football together, and while that's is not particularly unusual, the game watch happened to raise money for a great cause.
Dont'a Hightower hosted his third annual Monday Night Football watch party at Bar Louie at Patriot Place to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The event is a chance for Patriots fans to get to see some of their favorite players while supporting diabetes awareness, something that hits close to home for Dont'a.
Dont'a's mother L'Tanya was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago, and it shocked the family. For Dont'a, the diagnosis sparked a desire to spread the word about diabetes symptoms and causes, and to use his platform to raise money for research.
And that's exactly what he's done.
The Monday Night Football watch party raised more than $100,000 for the American Diabetes Association.
"The biggest thing for me was to promote awareness and to be able to get money to give to the ADA for diabetes research to find a cure. The biggest thing for me is to promote awareness and to have people wonder about what diabetes is and maybe the next time they go to the doctors they get checked," Dont'a said. "I had an individual tonight come in and tell me he buried his father recently. It's very sad but it means a lot to me for him to show up and be able to share that story with me."
While raising that much money for the American Diabetes Association is huge, Dont'a also had support from his teammates in the endeavor. Dozens of Patriots players came out to Bar Louie to hang out, watch football and help their teammate make a positive impact. Patriots at the event included Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, David Andrews, Malcolm Butler, Trey Flowers, Brandon Bolden, Deatrich Wise, Cassius Marsh, Nate Ebner, Rob Ninkovich, Dion Lewis, Kyle Van Noy and Eric Rowe.
"It means a lot [to have them here]. A lot of guys in that locker room try to do a lot of things in the community, and we don't always have the time. This is kind of a blockbuster for me," Dont'a said. "Dedicating so much to the season, having all of this done, it means a lot to me."
His teammates weren't the only special guests. Dont'a's mother L'Tanya also made an appearance for the second year in a row. L'Tanya and her battle with diabetes is what push Dont'a to act and become a force for good surrounding awareness for the disease.
"We were handling a couple of things before the event and she was dancing, clowning around a little bit. She's gotten a little quiet now, so I'm sure she'll spark back up here in a little bit," he said with a laugh.
Over three years, Dont'a's Monday Night Football event has raised about $180,000 for the American Diabetes Association.