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Kraft Family, Patriots Foundation and Gillette donate $275,000 in the names of 26 volunteer winners of this year’s award
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports Volunteer Liz Mead, a resident of Chittenden, was recognized by the Kraft Family, Patriots Foundation and Gillette, along with 25 other volunteers, as a 2023 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award Winner on Thursday, June 8.
Twenty-six volunteers were recognized for their contributions at an awards ceremony and luncheon at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. In total, $275,000 in donations were distributed to the nonprofits represented by each volunteer. Twenty-five organizations each received $10,000 and the Brian Dagle Foundation received this year’s grand prize of $25,000.
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.
“It is an honor to be selected for the Myra Kraft Community MVP award,” said Mead. “The spirit of volunteerism that the award recognizes is crucial to improving our communities; and I am deeply honored to have been nominated – much less selected! Volunteering with Vermont Adaptive is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to expose athletes from the adaptive community to the benefits of outdoor activity. The smiles that light up the faces of our athletes experiencing the freedom of movement on snow, water, or bike path, are inspiring. I am privileged to be able to help each athlete attain that smile, and I am fortunate to be a part of the great corps of volunteers at Vermont Adaptive. We all lift each other up.”
Mead was the recipient of Vermont Adaptive’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2019 for her love and commitment to the Vermont Adaptive community. She has been a volunteer with the organization since 2016 and typically skis more than 100 days a winter, the majority of that time volunteering with Vermont Adaptive.
“She brings her vast experience with her own children on the slopes and outdoors to our programs every day and is a supportive and caring mentor to everyone she works with,” said Tom Alcorn, senior program coordinator at Vermont Adaptive. “Her support at our special events year-round has been invaluable and you be hard pressed to find her not helping her fellow volunteers and staff members. The commitment she gives to our Special Olympics athletes and school groups has made for some amazing successes and plenty of fun times on the bike path, water and snow.”
Mead was selected for the Myra Kraft Community MVP Award from more than 350 nominations. The 2023 award-winners range from 21- to 80-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.
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 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 Procter & Gamble’s, VP of Grooming, North America, John Claughton.
“Each year we have the privilege of reading hundreds of stories about volunteers who go above and beyond to build stronger New England communities,” said Josh Kraft. “This program is incredibly important to my family, and we are honored to celebrate these remarkable individuals for their commitment to volunteerism. We are excited to once again partner with our good friends at Gillette for this year’s program.”
Since its inception, the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program has recognized more than 475 volunteers and donated more than $3.5 million to support nonprofit organizations across New England.
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is a nationally recognized organization that empowers people of all abilities through inclusive sports and recreational programming regardless of ability to pay. In addition to sports, year-round programming options integrate environmental, holistic wellness, and competitive training philosophies for people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical, and emotional/behavioral disabilities. Sports and recreational opportunities include alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, cycling, mountain biking, sailing, rock climbing, horseback riding, Veterans programs and retreats, and more. More than 400 volunteers serve athletes from all over the world at three winter locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton, as well as statewide in a variety of locations including the Burlington waterfront during the summer and warmer months.To volunteer at Vermont Adaptive, candidates must participate in off-snow and on-snow training for winter programs each year or for summer training in the spring. To learn more, visit www.vermontadaptive.org/get-involved
For more information on the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards, please visit www.patriots.com/community.