DEDHAM — Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy walked into Showcase Cinema de Lux at Legacy Place on Friday evening with a huge smile on his face.
He and his wife, Marissa Van Noy, had organized an outing for a group of 100 teenagers and chaperones from Massachusetts Wonderfund, a private nonprofit that supports kids in the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families system, to watch an advance screening of Dorchester native Mark Wahlberg’s latest movie, “Instant Family.” Directed by Sean Anders, the two-hour comedy documents a couple’s journey with foster care adoption — a topic the Van Noys know intimately.
Kyle was adopted as an infant in Las Vegas, while both Marissa’s father and younger brother were also adopted. Together, the couple started the Van Noy Valor Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting adopted, foster, and disadvantaged youth.
“All the men in my life have some ties to adoption,” Marissa told Boston.com. “My little brother, my dad, and my husband. I mean, it’s crazy, but it’s also really cool that Kyle and I get to do something that’s so important to both of us and give back in an area that we feel so passionate about.”
“Anytime you have the ability and the chance to give back to our future is a blessing,” Kyle added. “I grew up in a culture where you give everything you have, and I’m just trying to pass that along to somebody else.”
Friday night was a prime example of their efforts. Kyle mingled, signed autographs, and took selfies before the group — armed with popcorn and slushies — entered the theater. Although the evening was focused on fun, Kyle said he had a message he wanted to impart to the teenagers.
“People are in different situations, but, with hard work, you can honestly achieve whatever you want in life,” he said. “We believe that anyone can be successful if they’re given the tools.”
Before the screening started, Kyle briefly shared words of motivation with the audience and also gave a shout-out to Wahlberg for his performance.
“Oh yeah,” Kyle said in closing, “and go Patriots.”