FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots will honor 20 "community quarterbacks" for their commitments to improving their communities through volunteerism on Wednesday, May 11. At a ceremony in the Fidelity Investments Clubhouse at Gillette Stadium, Patriots owner Robert Kraft will present checks totaling $50,000 to benefit the favorite charities of this year's honorees.
"This is an opportunity for the Super Bowl Champions to honor the real champions in our communities, the ones who give of their time and themselves in the spirit of helping others," said Kraft. "I'm thrilled to honor such a deserving group of recipients this year and to help fund the important work that they do with their respective charitable organizations."
This year's overall winner is Dr. Ulric Johnson of Boston. Johnson is founder and director of Teens Against Gang Violence (TAGV) in Dorchester, Mass., a grassroots youth-leadership organization committed to peace and justice work among youth. After 25 years of volunteerism, Johnson founded the organization in 1990 following a string of gang violence incidents in Boston. For several years Johnson supported the group financially and offered his home as both an office and youth center. Today, TAGV serves hundreds of local youth and families in inner-city Boston. In addition to working with teens and giving presentations to local and national forums, he also visits hospitals to support victims of violence, advocates with city officials and has created a community board to sustain the program. Johnson is a faculty member at Harvard University's Graduate School of Public Education and Lesley College's Center for Peaceable Schools and Communities.
"Dr. Johnson epitomizes the very best qualities of our community quarterbacks," said Kraft. "He has demonstrated remarkable vision, persistence, compassion and an unwavering commitment to improving our community."
In addition to Johnson, nineteen other runners-up and finalists will be honored and presented with grants of either $3,500 or $1,500 for their volunteer organizations. The honorees represent charities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont.