Below is a press release from the New England Patriots:
FOXBOROUGH, MA — 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 Wednesday, Aug. 11, 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 marks the tenth year that this program has been named in memory of my sweetheart, Myra,” said Robert Kraft. “The past 18 months have been unlike anything we’ve experienced in our lifetime. During these challenging times, these 26 honorees stepped up to serve more children and families than ever before. We admire their selfless dedication and we know that Myra is smiling down on all of them.”
Eugene Brune of Wilmington was recognized for his volunteer efforts and a $10,000 donation to the Somerville Historical Society.
At 92 years young, Brune lives and breathes Somerville. He served as the city’s major from 1980 to 1990 and has been a longtime volunteer and trustee at the Somerville Museum. The nonprofit provides music and lectures series, hands0on learning projects and anti-racism workshops. Brune oversees all decisions of the nonprofit, including budgeting, fundraising and programs.
“I consider having been chosen to receive this award as an honor, as it allows me to be in the same class of special individuals that care for those in need,” said Brune. “I have always considered myself a very lunch person, having seen so much sickness and hardship of those less fortunate. I knew that if help others, I would also be helping myself; to be a better role model as a father, as well as a constructive person in our community.”
“We are so excited for Eugene to be recognized as he is one of those people who genuinely does not look for accolades and honors, but concentrates in a most disarming way on getting things done,” said Barbara Magnum, president of the board at the Somerville Museum. “Fortunately for the Somerville Museum, Mayor Brune has committed himself to shepherding the institution for the city he loves so much. The mayor believes in Somerville, he believes in the power of ideas and he believes in the museum.”
Brune is also a dedicated member of the Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary Clubs. On top of all that, Brune is an Army veteran, who was part of the occupational forces in Japan at the end of World War II.
“Volunteering to help others has always been a sense of accomplishment,” said Brune. “For me, the inner feelings that I experience, knowing that I made a difference in somebody’s life is why I continue to volunteer and be a part of my community.”
“We feel very blessed to have such a strong supporter among us and we would not be where we are today without him, his leadership, his friendship and his dedication,” said Barbara. “At 92, he is as spry and active as ever. We who work at the museum and guide it into the 21st century, are pleased beyond words with the recognition of our partner.”
The 2021 Myra Kraft Community MVP winners range from 21 to 92 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 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.
Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.