On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the New England Patriots will host their annual Kickoff Gala in the newly renovated and rebranded Putnam Club at Gillette Stadium. NFL Network's Rich Eisen will fly from the network's Los Angeles studios to emcee Tuesday's event. The gala kicks off with announced introductions of every coach and player on the 2011 team. It is the only event all year that attendees have an opportunity to mingle with every Patriots player and coach.
The gala is an annual fundraiser for the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. Monies raised help fund many worthwhile causes throughout New England. Since its inception in 1994, the Patriots Charitable Foundation has awarded thousands of in-kind donations and grants to regional charities and non-profits, totaling millions of dollars.
The Kickoff Gala also features the announcement of this year's recipient of the New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award. The award is named in honor of the late Ron Burton, the franchise's first draft choice in 1960. Since its inception in 2003, the award has been presented annually at the Kickoff Gala to a Patriots player in recognition of his philanthropic endeavors. Joe Andruzzi earned the honor of being the first recipient of the award. Since then, it has been presented to Troy Brown (2004), Matt Light (2005), Jarvis Green (2006), Ty Warren (2007), Larry Izzo (2008), Kevin Faulk (2009) and Vince Wilfork (2010).
In 2011, the New England Patriots will dedicate their season to the loving memory of Myra Kraft. Also in her memory, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will "Celebrate Volunteerism" in a season-long campaign by honoring individuals who have committed their lives to helping others. At the Kickoff Gala, the Foundation will recognize the work of Peter Trovato, founder of the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, and invite him to speak to the audience.
This event is sold out.