FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Every year since 1998, the Kraft family
and the New England Patriots have been celebrating those who give their time to
help others. The program was originally known as the Community Quarterback
Awards, and were presented to those who exemplify leadership, dedication and a
commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism.
Back in 2011, the awards were renamed in honor of the late
Myra Kraft who committed her life to volunteering. As part of the New England
Patriots Charitable Foundation’s ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, the
Kraft family hosts a special luncheon each year to show their appreciation for
On Thursday, June 8, 26 volunteers were recognized for their
contributions at an awards ceremony at Gillette Stadium. Fifteen local
volunteers received a $5,000 grant for the nonprofit organization for which
they volunteer. Ten others received grants of $10,000 for their New
England-based nonprofit and one grand prize winner was presented with a $25,000
grant for their charity.
“When I purchased the New England Patriots 23 years ago, not
only did we set out to build a winning organization, but we also wanted to help
build a spirit of giving amongst our fans,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO
Robert Kraft. “There are some incredible people in our local communities that
have dedicated much of their lives to volunteering. In creating the Myra Kraft
Community MVP Awards, we wanted to show our appreciation for these outstanding
community advocates and offer our support to the causes that are so near and
dear to their hearts. We admire their selflessness and thank them for their
commitment to making the world a better place.”
On hand to congratulate the award winners were Patriots
Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, New England Patriots Charitable Foundation
President Joshua Kraft and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer and Patriots
Executive Director of Community Affairs Andre Tippett. Patriots players Tom
Brady, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski also made a surprise appearance to
congratulate the winners.
Steve Brosnihan of Bristol, R.I. was recognized as one of
this year’s $5,000 third prize winners.
As a professional cartoonist, Brosnihan has been brightening
up the halls of Hasbro Children’s Hospital for the past 26 years. Over the past
two years, he has recruited hundreds of volunteers to help brighten the
Through his Good Night Lights program, volunteers say good
night to children at Hasbro by flashing their car headlights and flashlights in
the direction of the hospital. At 8:30pm every night, patients look out their
windows to know that the Providence community is thinking about them.
"I feel overwhelmingly privileged to be selected for
this award and the chance to associate my work with the New England Patriots
organization and the legacy of Myra Kraft,” said Brosnihan. “Mrs. Kraft’s
charitable involvement in her community is legendary."
Thanks to Brosnihan, more than 20 different companies in the
area have gathered together to support this effort. Over the years, more than
4,000 patients have received good night wishes and Brosnihan has successfully
managed to bring the entire community together to bring smiles to children.
“Steve introduced our community to a very simple, yet
powerful gesture in support of Hasbro Children’s Hospital patients,” said
Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, president of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro
Children’s Hospital. “In a matter of just a few months it became a Rhode Island
tradition. This nightly communication between the hospital and our neighbors in
and around Providence is a high point of the day for many of our children and
their families. We’re so grateful to the businesses, police departments and
others who’ve helped make it such a success.”
The 2017 Myra Kraft Community MVP winners range from 17 to
86 years old and represent every New England state. Winning nonprofits provide
support for many causes, including education, domestic violence prevention,
healthcare, homelessness, mentoring and military support. The Kraft family and
New England Patriots Charitable Foundation received hundreds of applications
this year from nonprofit organizations looking to recognize their outstanding
volunteers. Nominations open each spring and the awards are open to all
nonprofit organizations in the New England region. For more information on the
Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards, please visit www.patriots.com/community.
Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and Patriots and Pro
Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett congratulate Steve Brosnihan from Rhode
Island Hospital for being selected as a 2017 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award
third prize winner. During the June 8 luncheon, the Kraft family and the New
England Patriots Charitable Foundation awarded $200,000 in grants to 26 New
England nonprofits. Rhode Island Hospital received a $5,000 grant in honor of
Brosnihan’s volunteer efforts.
Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, President of the New
England Patriots Charitable Foundation Josh Kraft, Patriots and Pro Football
Hall of Famer Andre Tippett, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, wide receiver
Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski smiled for a photo with all 26 Myra
Kraft Community MVP Award winners at Gillette Stadium. The 26 volunteer winners
range from 17 to 86 years old and represent every New England state. Winning
nonprofits provide support for many causes, including education, domestic
violence prevention, healthcare, homelessness, mentoring and military support.