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Jonathan Jones, Patriots Foundation surprise four deserving community volunteers with trip to Super Bowl LVIII

New England Patriots cornerback and Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee Jonathan Jones, as well as the Patriots Foundation, surprised four deserving members of the community with an expense-paid trip to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas next month.

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The team may not be playing, but Patriots nation will be represented by some of the best the New England region has at Super Bowl LVIII in February.

On behalf of Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee Jonathan Jones, four outstanding community members earned themselves a trip to Las Vegas for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The surprises started Friday, with Jones at the Blue Hills Boys & Girls Club for what seemed like a visit to congratulate the Dorchester-based flag football team for winning the championship game this fall. The Patriots cornerback invited the entire team to attend the Patriots season finale against the New York Jets on Sunday, but there was more in store for their coach, Eric Rivas.

Rivas was also the former director of the Blue Hills Boys & Girls Club, where he met and developed a relationship with Jones over a few years. Thanks to Rivas' continued dedication to the kids at Blue Hills, even after leaving his formal role as director, the Walter Payton Award nominee felt he was more than deserving of a trip to the Super Bowl.

"I chose Eric because when I was here for the Turkey Bowl we had a conversation about him having to go back to work and leave the Boys & Girls Club to make more money to support his own family," Jones said. 

"But he still found the time to be here, and continue to develop the relationship he built with these kids. He continues to pour time and energy into these kids and the world needs more people like him."

The delight continued Monday, with Patriots Hall of Famer Andre Tippett and Patriots Foundation president Josh Kraft presenting more Super Bowl tickets on behalf of Robert Kraft.

Jim Johnson, who runs the KyleCares Foundation, was lured to Gillette Stadium under the understanding that he was attending a planning meeting for an upcoming conference in April. Then, he found himself in the trophy room.

The KyleCares Foundation was started by Johnson and his family after his son, Kyle, died by suicide in 2018. Their goal is to eliminate student self-harm and suicide by creating school environments where students and their caregivers have the confidence and resources to seek help without stigma, shame, or hesitation.

KyleCares partnered with the Patriots Foundation to host a conference at Gillette Stadium for the first time last year, and the partnership grew from there, culminating with Johnson being selected for the special trip to Las Vegas to attend the game.

Mary Doherty Cahill arrived at Gillette Stadium later in the morning for what she thought was a thank you brunch for volunteers of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, but arrived in a suite for her special surprise.

She was selected by the Patriots Foundation for her work at the Boys & Girls Club for the last six years. Cahill has remained connected to the organization in various roles since she went to the Dorchester club herself, volunteering through coaching, workshops, the Alumni Association, and most recently, as a summer camp nurse.

The last surprise of the day was for Jerry McDermott of Parkway Recreation.

Board members of the organization saw his hard work, always present and communicating with families to keep them updated and informed, ensuring all children have the opportunity to get on a basketball court or softball diamond. Yet, he never did anything for recognition, even after advocating for the Parkway Girls Softball League and championing its expansion in response to a lack of opportunities for girls in the Parkway area to play.

Jerry McDermott believed some of that recognition was coming at a volunteer award luncheon for his outstanding commitment to local youth, but instead, his thank you will come in the form of a trip to the Super Bowl.

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