Twenty-six volunteers were recognized during an awards luncheon at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, June 8 including Jimmy Giddings of Melrose, Mass. presented with $10,000 donation for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – For the past 25 years, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation have been recognizing volunteers for going above and beyond to give back to their communities through the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program. Formerly known as the Community Quarterback Awards, this volunteer recognition was renamed in 2011 in memory of Myra Kraft.
On Wednesday, June 8, 26 volunteers were recognized for their contributions at an awards ceremony at Gillette Stadium. In total, $275,000 in donations were distributed to the nonprofits represented by each volunteer. Twenty-five organizations each received $10,000 and the Grimes King Foundation for the Elderly received this year’s grand prize of $25,000.
“Of all the community initiatives we support through the Patriots Foundation, this was always Myra’s favorite and I am proud that we continue to honor her legacy of volunteerism by recognizing the amazing work of dozens of volunteers each year,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “She loved meeting all of the honorees and hearing their heartwarming stories of volunteerism. There are so many people doing great things in our communities. It restores all faith in humanity. We enjoyed reviewing this year’s applications and selecting the 26 dedicated individuals that are helping to make the world a better place.”
Gillette, a longtime supporter of the New England Patriots and a cornerstone partner of the Patriots Foundation, served as the presenting sponsor for this year’s program. On hand to congratulate the award winners were Robert Kraft, President of Kraft Family Philanthropies Josh Kraft, Patriots, College and Pro Football Hall of Famer and Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs Andre Tippett and John Claughton, VP of Grooming, North America, Procter & Gamble.
“This program has always been my family’s favorite charitable initiative,” said Josh Kraft. “Each year, we read hundreds of heartfelt stories of volunteerism and we are honored to celebrate those who go above and beyond to help others. We were excited to partner with our good friends at Gillette for this year’s program and appreciate their shared commitment to building stronger New England communities.”
“As a long-time witness of the great and positive impact the Kraft family has had on the New England community, Gillette could not be more proud to share in honoring Myra’s legacy as the presenting sponsor of the Myra Kraft MVP Awards,” said John Claughton. “Joined by the same drive to be a force for good for the communities we serve, Gillette looks forward to supporting all the honorees and volunteers that continue the work Myra so passionately championed.”
Jimmy Giddings of Melrose, Mass. was recognized as one of this year’s honorees and presented with a $10,000 donation for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham and Wakefield.
Jimmy regularly spends more than 20 hours a week volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club. He has helped to create customized programs for youth from low-income families and has personally fundraised for local families to help them catch up on living expenses.
Prior to the pandemic, the club served 300 children per day. Thanks to Jimmy’s efforts in creating virtual opportunities, they will now be able to serve nearly 9,000 youth. As an openly gay man, Jimmy is a strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and with this award, he will be able to expand upon a mental health initiative he created at the Boys & Girls Club.
“Myra Kraft exemplified what is meant to serve a community, to create a better world for those around us, and for those after us,” said Jimmy. “I have had the unique pleasure of volunteering at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield. Since joining the Clubs as a volunteer, I have seen first-hand how service to the community makes a difference in the lives of at-risk youth.”
“I have been lucky enough to support the staff and children to better strengthen the quality of programming, to create meaningful relationships with young people, and to fundraise to make sure no child is ever turned away,” Jimmy continued. “I plan on continuing to do this for years to come and to follow in the example of Myra Kraft in creating a better world for those around us and after us. “
The 2022 Myra Kraft Community MVP winners range from 15 to 85 years old and represent every New England state. The selected nonprofits provide support for many causes, including education, domestic violence prevention, healthcare, homelessness, mentoring and military support.
Since its inception, the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program has recognized more than 450 volunteers and donated more than $3 million to support nonprofit organizations across New England.
The Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation received more than 250 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.
Below is a complete list of the 2022 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award Winners:
Wayne Barbour Springfield, Mass. Springfield Youth Athletics Feeding Hills, Mass.
Joseph Bennett Boston, Mass. Yardtime Entertainment Inc Boston, Mass.
Katonya Burke Dorchester, Mass. Trinity Boston Connects Boston, Mass.
Thelma Burns Dorchester, Mass. The Grimes King Foundation for the Elderly Boston, Mass.
Dawn Carveth West Bridgewater, Mass. Sunshine Farm Sanctuary Bridgewater, Mass.
Grace Chen Somerville, Mass. Camp Casco Sudbury, Mass.
Mary Cooper Shirley, Mass. United Spinal Association Woburn, Mass.
Cynthia Cote Durham, Mass. Betty J. Borry Breast Cancer Retreats Durham, N.H.
Michael Crawley Cranston, R.I. Freiderich’s Ataxia Research Alliance Johnston, R.I.
Robert Dunn Natick, Mass. Care Dimensions Danvers, Mass.
Jimmy Giddings Melrose, Mass. Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham & Wakefield Stoneham, Mass.
Barbara Girardi Hopkinton, Mass. Live4Evan Hopkinton, Mass.
Felicia Hickey Stoughton, Mass. The Phoenix Boston, Mass.
Oliver Kaufman Stamford, Conn. Food Rescue US Stamford, Conn.
Elizabeth Keeley Melrose, Mass. Boston Rescue Mission Boston, Mass.
Rosemarie Lopes New Bedford, Mass. Southeastern MA Veterans Housing Program New Bedford, Mass.
Dr. Michael Matos Wolfeboro, N.H. American Diabetes Association New Durham, N.H.
Shane McColgan Carver, Mass. Shane Gives Thanks Food Pantry Carver, Mass.
Holly McHale Waterboro, Maine Outdoors Again Waterboro, Maine
Leah Bailey Moon Bloomfield, Conn. Autism Families CONNECTicut West Hartford, Conn.
Ryan Najemy Brookline, Mass. Jeff’s Place Children’s Bereavement Center Framingham, Mass.
Beth Pransky Hanson, Mass. Jay’s Hope & Promise Hanson, Mass.
Michelle Ratty Tyngsborough, Mass. Lowell General Hospital Lowell, Mass.
Hank Shafran Brookline, Mass. The Boston House Brookline, Mass.
Catherine Ann Wilson Standish, Maine Stop Trafficking Us Standish, Maine
Todd Zavorskas Brooklyn, Conn. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Brooklyn, Conn.