FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - To honor Myra Kraft's lifetime commitment to volunteering, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation have announced the renaming of the Community MVP Awards program to the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards.
The award honors individuals who exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism. Through the program, nonprofit organizations in New England have the opportunity to honor their hard-working volunteers for their time and support. The annual Community MVP Awards luncheon, where stories about the individuals' exemplary volunteer efforts are shared, was one of Myra Kraft's favorite events. Long known as one of New England's most influential philanthropists, Myra Kraft passed away in July after a long battle with cancer. The Patriots have dedicated the 2011 season to her loving memory.
As part of the season-long "Celebrate Volunteerism" campaign, the Foundation will begin accepting nominations for the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards on October 9. Nonprofit organizations can download nomination forms or submit them online via www.patriots.com/community. Nominations will be accepted through April 30, 2012. Last year, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation donated $100,000 to local organizations through the Community MVP Awards.
Sunday's Patriots-Jets game also caps the "Celebrate Volunteerism" week-long focus on youth volunteerism. During the week of October 2-8, the Foundation worked in cooperation with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and the Hockomock Area YMCA to highlight volunteers who make a difference in the lives of children. As part of the youth volunteerism activities, the Foundation will honor "Youth of the Year" volunteers from each state in New England in a pregame ceremony. The "Youth of the Year" awards are the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's premier recognition program for club members who promote commitment to volunteerism, the club, academic success and leadership.
Each week throughout the season the Foundation will "Celebrate Volunteerism" in different areas. Next week's focus will be on service projects and will include the rebuilding of a playground in Providence. Other upcoming activities include a coat collection at the November 11 game, food collections at the November 21 game and toy collections at the December 4 game, as well as player appearances as part of Patriots Community Tuesdays and the announcement of the weekly "Patriots Difference Maker" award, which aims to recognize deserving volunteers on www.patriots.com/community and in Patriots Football Weekly.
Through "Celebrate Volunteerism," fans are encouraged to get out in their communities. They can pledge volunteer hours by visiting www.patriots.com/community and can print an official Patriots Celebrate Volunteerism Certificate. Fans can also submit photos of themselves holding their Celebrate Volunteerism Certificate while participating in their volunteer work via CharitableEvents@patriots.com.
For more information about the "Celebrate Volunteerism" initiative, including resources and information about volunteering and the "Patriots Difference Maker" award, or to join the Celebrate Volunteerism movement by pledging volunteer hours, visit www.patriots.com/community.
PATRIOTS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION "CELEBRATE VOLUNTEERISM" WEEKLY SCHEDULE:
Week * *Volunteerism Weekly Focus
September 18 Education Volunteerism
September 25 Mentoring Volunteerism
October 2 Youth Volunteerism
October 9 Service Projects Volunteerism
October 16 Healthy Eating & Nutrition Volunteerism
October 23 Violence Prevention & Bullying Awareness Volunteerism
October 30 Public Service Volunteerism
November 6 Military & Veterans Volunteerism
November 13 Youth Sports Volunteerism
November 20 Hunger Awareness Volunteerism
November 27 Healthcare Volunteerism
December 4 Exercise & Fitness Volunteerism
December 11 Homelessness Volunteerism
December 18 Holiday Giving Volunteerism
December 25 Senior Advocate Volunteerism
January 1, 2012 New Year's Volunteerism Celebration
ABOUT THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the nonprofit organization established by the Kraft family in 1994 to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. This support comes in the form of direct grants and the donation of signed memorabilia to charitable causes, as well as from Patriots players who offer their support by appearing at charity functions throughout the year. In 2011, the Foundation will work to raise cancer awareness through the "Celebrate Volunteerism" initiative. For more information about the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, please visit www.patriots.com/community.