Before he heads to Bethesda, Md., to watch the Super Bowl with the wounded veterans being treated at Walter Reed Medical Center, former Patriots offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi penned a guest post to give an update -- and publicly give thanks -- after totaling up the donations made to his foundation's Touchdown by Tom campaign this season.
By Joe Andruzzi
Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady is always in the spotlight for his performance, particularly as the season winds down and fans become increasingly obsessed with the Super Bowl. We’re obviously bummed to not be in the big game this year, but we here at the Joe Andruzzi Foundation still have a lot to celebrate right now – more than 100,000 reasons!
See, as my former teammate and friend Tom Brady threw for touchdowns this season, he did a lot more than put points on the board. He put real dollars in the pockets of New England families fighting cancer – families struggling to pay their rents and mortgages, car payments and heat bills while loved ones undergo treatment. And for that, Tom is our hero.
Every time Tom threw a touchdown pass last fall, National Grid donated $700 to our Foundation’s Touchdowns by Tom campaign, which benefited our Patient Touchdown Program. This program specifically helps patients and families who appeal directly to our Foundation for aid, through emails, phone calls and letters. Due to our amazing partnerships with local cancer treatment facilities, many of our grant requests now come through dedicated hospital social workers and patient advocates. But because we’re a grassroots organization, it’s important we remain accessible and responsive to the broader community. Our Patient Touchdown Program ensures we’ll keep helping those who come directly to us, many in desperate need of financial assistance.
As I pack for my annual trip to watch the Super Bowl with wounded veterans at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland this weekend, I’ll be thinking back on Tom’s awesome passes this season. They were especially sweet for me, knowing each touchdown meant financial relief for our grant recipients! Remember his 83-yard lob to Shane Vereen in our Thanksgiving smackdown of the Jets? His four devastating touchdown passes against the Rams in London? And the four touchdown throws that took Houston down on Monday Night Football?
I am immensely grateful for Tom’s superhuman throwing arm, and National Grid’s generosity. This is our first partnership with the local power company, and what an impressive commitment. In total, Touchdowns by Tom raised more than $100,000, and my wife Jen and I are still overwhelmed with gratitude.
In addition, CBS Radio Boston/98.5 The Sports Hub also promoted the campaign, airing promotional spots voiced by Tom, and sponsoring and recognizing our patients at home games. I know our Foundation’s grant recipients got a huge thrill out of watching the Pats play at Gillette this season, and hearing their names blasted across the Patriots Radio Network. For those folks, these memories will last a lifetime.
As a former Patriot and a huge fan, the end of this season is bittersweet. But as we watch the final show this weekend, we at the Joe Andruzzi Foundation will thank Tom Brady for his quiet, consistent and unbelievably generous support. His humility, loyalty and genuine caring for families in need have racked up more points this season than any scoreboard could tally.
For more information on the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, visit joeandruzzifoundation.org.
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