Throughout New England, individuals of all ages have donated their time and resources for the benefit of their community.
At the 2023 Myra Kraft Community MVP award ceremony at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, the Patriots Foundation and Gillette honored those who go above and beyond.
"This is truly a very special event for our family," said Robert Kraft, addressing the 26 organizations in attendance.
"My beloved late wife Myra and I attended hundreds of team-related events to support the community, but this was always her favorite, and it's become my favorite. She was always touched by the wonderful stories of volunteers and the ways people gave back to the community. To me, she was the ultimate volunteer, so in 2011, we renamed this award after her. I can genuinely say, nothing would be more meaningful to her."
Since its inception, the program has honored more than 475 volunteers and donated more than $3.5 million to the volunteers. Almost 400 applications were submitted for 2023, with the 26 winners making a difference in each of the six states in New England receiving a collective $275,000 to expand their efforts.
Those selected ranged from age 21 to 80 years old, and provide support for causes including education, domestic violence prevention, healthcare, homelessness, mentoring, and the military.
Twenty-five of those volunteers and non-profits received $10,000, with Ann Dagle of the Brian Dagle Foundation earning the grand prize of $25,000.
"We were just honored to be awarded as one of the recipients," said Dagle.
"But then we got the big award, the grand prize -- I don't have many words. I'm just speechless, but I am honored and humbled to receive these with all these other wonderful people."
In November of 2011, her 19-year-old son Brian died by suicide.
When she couldn't find a local support group that suited her needs after his passing, she decided to fill that gap in her East Lyme, Connecticut community.
Established in 2014, the Brian Dagle Foundation offers more than 10 support groups with between 60 and 80 people attending each one through referrals from physicians. The organization also provides education and training on suicide awareness and prevention, and Ann receives no salary for her full-time efforts.
"It's just amazing," Dagle said. "We've been doing this for nine years and it's a labor of love. It's in honor of my son, and we wanted to go for this because he loved the Patriots, so this was for Brian."
Here are all 26 recipients of the 2023 Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards:
Tom Baird, Operation Delta Dog
David Britto, Lighthouse Community Development Corporation
Tim Carey, Nativity Preparatory School of Boston
Daniel Cnossen, One Summit, Inc.
Ann Dagle, Brian Dagle Foundation
Amy Doherty, WellStrong, Inc.
Coleen Downs Dinneen, Ellis Early Learning
Bobbi Dynice, The Diaper Bank of Connecticut, Inc.
Jeff Feingold, Hope & Comfort
Susan French, Independence House, Inc.
Tina Gee, Ovations for the Cure
Elizabeth Hukowicz, Meghan's Lights
Nick Hungerford, Elizabeth's Smile
Cynthia Jones, Heroes in Transition
Robert Sam Kelley, Vet to Vet Maine
Fran Latch, Starting Point
Dr. Justin Maykel, UMass Memorial Health
Nancy McDonough, Have A Sammi Kinda Day
Liz Mead, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports
Madison Quinn, Strong Little Souls
Tom Richissin, Nationall Braille Press
Chelsey Simoni, HunterSeven Foundation
Peach Warren, Community Harvest Project, Inc.
Kurt Webber, Patriot Resilience Leader Institute
Toby Whitney, Mission of Deeds, Inc.
Regina Wu, Newton Food Pantry