By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports

FOXBORO (CBS) – Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo was the recipient of this year’s Ron Burton Community Service award. He received it Tuesday night at the Patriots annual Charitable Foundation Kickoff Gala.

“It means a lot,” Mayo said. “When I first got here to New England, I really looked up to guys like Kevin Faulk and Vince Wilfork. I saw the community work that they did and I just felt like I needed to give back as well. It starts with Mr. Kraft and Mrs. Kraft. Those guys were great examples and hopefully I’ll continue to do it.”

“In his three short years in New England, Jerod has made large contributions both on and off the field,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “Both in uniform and and as an active volunteer in the community, he has done everything asked of him and more. He continually makes us proud to have drafted him in 2008. He is a most deserving recipient of the Ron Burton Award.”

“My biggest passion is just giving back to the kids; they’re our future and I know it sounds cliché, but it’s the truth,” said Mayo. “Some of them really don’t have direction and things like that, so anytime it has something to do with the kids I’m always there.”

Mayo etches his name on a list that includes Joe Andruzzi (2003),Troy Brown (2004), Matt Light (2005), Jarvis Green (2006), Ty Warren (2007), Larry Izzo (2008), Faulk (2009) and Wilfork (2010).


At the Gala on Tuesday night, there was one person missing, and that was the late Myra Kraft. This year the event took on more of a meaning to certain players and one of them was Kevin Faulk.

“[This year’s event means a] little more than it normally means with Ms. Myra passing,” Faulk said before Tuesday’s event. “With the charitable foundation that she started, it’s going to mean a little more to people in the organization, the people that have been around here for a long time. It’s what [the Kraft family does], that’s what they’ve been doing for a long time, and they want to continue on doing it. I think they’re going to try to make it as special as possible.”


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