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.
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 Foundation’s ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, the Kraft family hosts a special luncheon each year to show their appreciation for local volunteers.
On Tuesday, Aug. 20, 26 volunteers were recognized for their contributions at an awards ceremony at Gillette Stadium. Twenty-five organizations received grants of $10,000 in honor of their outstanding volunteers and one grand prize winner received a surprise $25,000 donation.
On hand to congratulate the award winners were Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, New England Patriots Foundation President Joshua Kraft and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer and Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs Andre Tippett.
“This event has always been one of my favorites because it not only highlights the organization that is positively impacting the lives of others in our communities, but it also allows us to shine a spotlight on each organization’s most-deserving volunteer,” said Robert Kraft. “The stories describing the many volunteers who are nominated each year are inspirational. They serve as a reminder of how much good there really is in the world and how committed some people are to making their community a better place.”
Georgina Bogert of Manchester, N.H. was selected as one of this year’s $10,000 winners for her volunteer efforts at the Manchester Police Athletic League.
For more than four years, Georgina – also known as Ginny – has been volunteering three to five days a week at the Manchester Police Athletic League. The nonprofit strives to build positive relationships between local police and youth through a variety of recreational programs.
The Manchester Police Athletic League offers boxing, cooking, cross-training, homework help, life skills, wrestling and more. Most of the youth they serve receive free or reduced lunch and have been exposed to drugs, gangs and poverty.
As the go-to volunteer, Ginny checks in with all participants, gets to know them and helps them to make good, healthy choices. She serves as an interpreter for ESL students, assists with the court diversion program, chaperones field trips and much more.
“Volunteering is in my heart and it can be as easy as giving a smile, feeding a physical or spiritual need, organizing a room, cleaning, tying someone’s shoes, giving hugs, crying with someone, washing their dishes or helping at an organization,” said Ginny. “It is hard to put into words my passion to serve. It is driven by the models in my life and my Christian upbringing. Volunteerism gives me a feeling of fulfillment and provides me an opportunity to set an example for my grandkids and other youth in my community.”
Thanks to volunteers like Ginny, the Manchester Police Athletic League is able to provide free, quality programs to more than 600 students each year.
“Ginny is a steadfast presence for our kids,” said the nonprofit in a statement. “Not only does she model positive behavior, but she also praises, motivates and cheerleads productive growth in our participants. Her presence at the our organization, four to five days a week, is a living demonstration of the values we try to instill in our kids: commitment, respect, responsibility, accountability and the importance of giving back. She has a stern, but loving way of supporting youth and there is never any question that Ginny is in their corner.”
“It doesn’t take a college degree or a lot of money to make someone’s day,” said Ginny. “I enjoy volunteering and it gives me the most wonderful feeling to know that I was able to do something for someone that had an impact.”
The 2019 Myra Kraft Community MVP winners range from 14 to 76 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. The Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation received more than 350 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.