FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – On Tuesday evening, at the annual Patriots Premiere on the Gillette Stadium field, New England Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona was presented the 2018 New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award for his outstanding commitment in giving back to the community. Cardona is the 16th Patriots player to receive the award and the first to do so while also serving as a lieutenant junior grade in the United States Navy.
Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft presented Cardona with the award, which is named in honor of the late Ron Burton, the first player drafted by the team in the inaugural year of 1960 and a community leader whose widespread charitable work was a model for how a Patriots player can make an impact off the field.
"Joe is a Patriot in the highest sense of the word, on and off the field," said Kraft. "Service to others is of principal importance to him, first to our country, as well as to our team and to our community. This past offseason, Joe went on a two-week training session to South Korea with the United States Navy Reserves. He serves his country and his team honorably and still manages to contribute by volunteering to serve and support many of our team's community initiatives."
Cardona joined the Patriots as a fifth-round draft pick out of Navy in 2015 and has played in 48 regular-season games and eight playoff contests over the last three seasons. His contributions on special teams helped lead the Patriots to three consecutive division titles, two consecutive AFC Championships and a Super Bowl Championship.
Cardona joins a select group of Patriots players to receive the Ron Burton Award. Past recipients are Jordan Richards (2017), Rob Gronkowski (2016), Nate Solder (2015), Devin McCourty (2014), Matthew Slater (2013), Zoltan Mesko (2012), Jerod Mayo (2011), Vince Wilfork (2010), Kevin Faulk (2009), Larry Izzo (2008), Ty Warren (2007), Jarvis Green (2006), Matt Light (2005), Troy Brown (2004) and Joe Andruzzi (2003).
The New England Patriots Foundation hosted its annual premiere on the field at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018. Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and the entire team of Patriots players and coaches gathered to celebrate the upcoming season and honor Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona, who was presented with the Ron Burton Community Service Award.