FOXBOROUGH, Mass -- Ed Hurley, President of the Hockomock Area YMCA, today announced that New England Patriots' offensive lineman Matt Light will receive the 2011 Legends Award for his achievements both on and off the field at the Hockomock Area YMCA's sixth annual Legends Ball. This YMCA signature event will be held on Tuesday evening, November 15, 2011 at Christina's in Foxboro. Prior Legends award recipients are: Andre Tippett, Steve Grogan and Joe Andruzzi.
"Matt Light is the real deal and a true role model whose spirit of giving back inspires us all," said Hurley. "Off the field, Matt works with many local organizations including ours and his own charity, The Light Foundation. Every summer, Matt spends several weeks at Camp Vohokase, his camp in Ohio that works with at-risk teens to help them uncover their true potential as future leaders."
"My family taught me that it's not about who you are but rather, the contributions you make to others that make a difference in life," said Light. "The Hockomock Area YMCA and The Light Foundation share a common mission - to help young people build their self-esteem through group interactions in a safe, caring environment - there's nothing more rewarding than watching them become confident young adults."
Legends Ball Chairman Pete Brock, former New England Patriots center and President of the Patriot's Alumni Association noted, "Matt has earned the admiration and respect of his teammates and coaches for his straightforward approach." Brock also announced that former sports anchor and WEEI radio host Butch Stearns will return once again as the event's emcee.
The proceeds from the Legends Ball benefit the Hockomock Area YMCA's Integration Initiative, which was established in 2004 with a goal to provide children with special needs an opportunity to participate with their typically developing peers in all the programs, services and activities offered at the Y. The program aims to improve social skills build self-esteem, increase physical activity and independence and to enhance mutual respect among people of all abilities.
For the past 6 years Pete Brock has inspired dozens of New England Sports Legends to support this cause that provides vital opportunities for children with special needs and their families to feel included and not isolated. Ed Hurley commented, "What has been truly fulfilling and rewarding is how connected our Sports Legends have become to this Initiative. Whether by helping out with a special golf clinic or showing up at summer camp to play kickball with the kids, it speaks volumes to their special commitment to give back to the community." Noted Pete Brock, "To the professional athletes who have reached a high level of achievement, it means a lot to lend support to those that are physically and developmentally challenged."
Nancy Weihrauch, mother of Emma Weihrauch, reflected on her daughter's participation in the Y's Integration Initiative. "Emma loves going to the YMCA because it gives her a real sense of belonging-it's a place where she can feel part of her peer group. There is no greater comfort than knowing Emma is welcomed and embraced at the Y - all while building self confidence, having fun, and being active with her peers.
The event includes both a silent and live auction and offers local sports fans the opportunity to "dine with Legends" with each table featuring exclusive seating with one of New England's sports celebrities. Confirmed Legends for this year's ball include: Joe Andruzzi, Jim Bowman, Pete Brock, Troy Brown, Gino Cappelletti, Matt Chatham, Larry Eisenhauer, Tim Fox, Steve Grogan, Ken Hodge, Rick Hoyt, Matt Light, Devin McCourty, Joe Morgan, Jerry Moses, Len St. Jean, and Sebastian Vollmer.
Sports fans and friends of the Hockomock Area YMCA may reserve a table of eight or purchase individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available by contacting Peter Waisgerber at 508-643-5251, or by visiting the Hockomock Area YMCA's website at www.hockymca.org.
About Hockomock Area YMCA:
The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility. With over 33,000 members, half under the age of 18, our promise is to partner and collaborate with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities we are privileged to serve.