FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced that they will dedicate the 2011 season to the loving memory of Myra Kraft, who passed away on July 20 after a courageous battle with cancer. On Thursday, Aug. 11, when the Patriots kick off the 2011 campaign against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium, every Patriots player and coach will honor Myra's memory by wearing a patch with her initials on it in recognition of her lifelong contributions to the local and global community and her influence on the charitable mission of the entire Patriots organization. The patch will be worn on the left chest of every player throughout the season.
At halftime of Thursday night's regional broadcast of the game, a segment will air featuring Patriots greats - past and present - reflecting on Myra's memory and the lasting legacy she created. Also in honor of Myra Kraft's lifetime commitment to philanthropic service, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will focus its season-long initiative in 2011 on recognizing and rewarding volunteerism. Included in that focus will be the recognition of the nation's largest volunteer organization: the United States military. That season-long initiative will formally commence at the regular season home opener on Sept. 18. Prior to that game, the organization will honor Myra with a moment of silence.
"Myra touched the lives of so many people," said Patriots All-Pro defensive lineman Vince Wilfork. "My conversations with her were never about football. She always asked about my family and always made me feel as if I were a part of hers. By her example, she made us all want to give more and to make a positive impact in our communities. We are proud to dedicate the 2011 season to Myra Kraft."
Over a 40-year career as an engaged philanthropist and professional volunteer, Myra Kraft committed tens of thousands of hours to improve the lives of children and people in need across the globe. Along with Robert Kraft, she contributed well over $100 million to charitable causes, with the primary focus of improving the lives of children and enhancing their educational opportunities. Locally, she served on and chaired boards and committees for virtually all of the Boston area's major non-profit organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and United Way of Massachusetts Bay. Upon the Kraft family's purchase of the Patriots in 1994, Myra and Robert Kraft established the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, for which Myra served as President (full Myra Kraft bio attached).
To extend Myra Kraft's legacy of improving the lives of others and making an impact in our community, a fund has been established in her name at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. Those wishing to contribute to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Scholarship Fund are welcome to do so. The address and a link to the site are located below:
Myra Kraft Giving Back Scholarship Fund
50 Congress Street, Suite 730
Boston, MA 02109
Memories of Myra Kraft can be shared at www.Patriots.com/MyraKraftGuestbook