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The Patriots will celebrate volunteerism in 2011

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (September 13, 2011) - The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will launch the season-long initiative "Celebrate Volunteerism" at the September 18 Patriots versus Chargers game. With a special focus on volunteerism, the Kraft family and the Foundation will honor Myra Kraft's lifetime commitment to philanthropy and charitable service.

Each week throughout the season the Foundation will focus on different volunteer areas, beginning with a celebration of educational volunteerism in cooperation with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley. The Foundation will host a book collection at the Patriots versus Chargers game on September 18. Fans attending the game are encouraged to donate new and gently used children's books at designated locations outside Gillette Stadium prior to the game.

Additional education volunteerism activities will include player appearances as part of Patriots Community Tuesdays, and the announcement of the weekly "Patriots Difference Maker" award, which aims to recognize deserving volunteers on www.patriots.com/community and in Patriots Football Weekly. Fans are encouraged to nominate a "Patriots Difference Maker" beginning September 18 at www.patriots.com/community.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to the many deserving volunteers that invest in our community and rarely receive recognition for the important work that they do. Volunteerism is at the heart of giving back and making a difference," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "Through this year's season-long campaign, we will have an opportunity to recognize some individuals who make such a positive impact in their communities. My wife made an immeasurable impact through volunteering, and through this campaign I hope others are inspired to do the same."  

The Celebrate Volunteerism campaign also encourages fans to personally go out into the community and make a difference by pledging volunteer hours. Beginning September 18, Patriots fans can visit www.patriots.com/community, pledge volunteer hours, and print an official Patriots Celebrate Volunteerism certificate. Fans are then encouraged to submit photos holding their Celebrate Volunteerism certificate while participating in their volunteer work to CharitableEvents@patriots.com.

On August 30 at the annual Kickoff Gala, the Kraft family and Foundation announced the renaming of the Community MVP Awards program to the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards. This year, as part of the Celebrate Volunteerism campaign, the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards will open nominations at the October 9 Patriots versus Jets game. For more than 11 years, this program has honored deserving volunteers through the region for their service by awarding grants to the nonprofits for which they volunteer.

The Celebrate Volunteerism campaign aims to share examples of dedicated volunteers, build awareness of the need for volunteering, identify and educate others about volunteer opportunities and inspire New Englanders to follow Myra Kraft's example of becoming a life-long volunteer.

For more information about the "Celebrate Volunteerism" initiative, including resources and information about volunteering, the "Patriots Difference Maker" award, and to join the Celebrate Volunteerism movement by pledging volunteer hours, visit www.patriots.com/community.

PATRIOTS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION "CELEBRATE VOLUNTEERISM" WEEKLY SCHEDULE:

Week  -------- Volunteerism Weekly Focus
September 18 - Education Volunteerism
September 25 - Mentoring Volunteerism
October 2 - Youth Volunteerism
October 9 - Service Projects Volunteerism
October 16 - Healthy Eating & Nutrition Volunteerism
October 23 - Violence Prevention & Bullying Awareness Volunteerism
October 30 - Public Service Volunteerism
November 6 - Military & Veterans Volunteerism
November 13 - Youth Sports Volunteerism
November 20 - Hunger Awareness Volunteerism
November 27 - Healthcare Volunteerism
December 4 - Exercise & Fitness Volunteerism
December 11 - Homelessness Volunteerism
December 18 - Holiday Giving Volunteerism
December 25 - Senior Advocate Volunteerism
January 1, 2012 - New Year's Volunteerism Celebration

ABOUT THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the nonprofit organization established by the Kraft family in 1994 to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. This support comes in the form of direct grants and the donation of signed memorabilia to charitable causes, as well as from Patriots players who offer their support by appearing at charity functions throughout the year. In 2011, the Foundation will work to raise cancer awareness through the "Celebrate Volunteerism" initiative. For more information about the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, please visit www.patriots.com/community.

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