WASHINGTON – Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., and the NFL Players Association have selected Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots, as the inaugural recipient of a new joint award. The presentation of the NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award to Kraft will take place during the 26th Annual Lombardi Gala on November 3 in Washington, D.C.
The NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award was established to honor a leader in the sports industry whose life and family have been touched by cancer, and who encourages cancer research, prevention and treatment through awareness and philanthropy. The connection between the NFL Players Association and Georgetown Lombardi has grown in the past few years, in part out of a shared connection to the legacy of legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi, who was treated for cancer at Georgetown University Hospital before succumbing to the disease in 1970. Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is named in his memory.
DeMaurice F. Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, is serving as the honorary chair of the Lombardi Gala for the third year.
"Like many of us in the NFL community, Mr. Kraft has been personally affected by cancer," says Smith. In 2011, Kraft's wife of 48 years, Myra, died of ovarian cancer. "Despite his loss, Mr. Kraft has continued to be a leader on cancer awareness, research and treatment. We are thrilled to honor his achievements and dedication to fighting cancer on this special night."
Over the past four decades, the Kraft family has become known as one of New England's most philanthropic families, donating more than $100 million in support of local charities and civic affairs.
"Mr. Kraft is widely recognized as one of the most successful owners in professional sports, but he's also a champion off the field," says Georgetown Lombardi Director Louis M. Weiner, M.D. "We honor Kraft for his vision to recognize the need for generous community support for cancer research if we are to defeat this devastating set of diseases."
Kraft is the founder, chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group, based in Foxborough, Mass. In addition to the Patriots, the Kraft Group's holdings include the Rand-Whitney Group, Rand-Whitney Containerboard, International Forest Products, the New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium, Patriot Place and a portfolio of more than 100 private equity investing and philanthropy. The 26th Annual Lombardi Gala is open to the public and tickets are on sale now. The black-tie dinner and dance features a cocktail reception, silent auction and a popular annual raffle of a new 2013 Lexus. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Gala go to Georgetown Lombardi for cancer research, education and treatment. For more information, log on to lombardi.georgetown.edu.
About Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Georgetown Lombardi is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.
About the NFL Players Association
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) is a non-profit, professional sports union that protects the best interests and welfare of all NFL players. Established in 1956, the NFLPA is the exclusive bargaining agent for all NFL players, is governed by a Board of Player Representatives and acts in accordance with the NFLPA Constitution and federal labor laws. The NFLPA's responsibilities include: Representing all players in matters concerning wages, hours and working conditions and protecting their rights as professional football players; ensuring that the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement are met; negotiating and monitoring retirement and insurance benefits; providing other member services and activities; providing assistance to charitable and community organizations; enhancing and defending the image of players and their profession, on and off the field. For more information, visitwww.NFLPlayers.com.