FOXBORO (CBS) – New England Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko has received the Ron Burton Community Service Award.
The award was announced Monday night at the Patriots Charitable Foundation Kickoff Gala.
“Zoltan is one of the best punters in the league, but he may be the league’s current MVP for his contributions in the community,” said Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “In the 18 years since we established the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, perhaps no player has accomplished more in the community in such a short amount of time.”
“It’s something that I was not quite expecting,” Mesko told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton at the Gala. “The announcement of it kind of humbled me. Just for what (Rob Burton) stood for, and what the Kraft family stands for – Mr. Kraft and Myra Kraft – exemplaries in the community.”
Mesko On Receiving Ron Burton Award:
According to the Patriots, Mesko has participated in a community event nearly every Tuesday (the players’ only off day during the season), and often participates in more than one per week.
“There are so many guys that do things on Tuesday. That’s our day off when we can go out in the community and share some smiles, put some smiles on the kids’ faces; whether it’s in the soup kitchen or in the hospital, anything,” said Mesko.
Mesko joins a select group of Patriots players to receive the Ron Burton Award: Joe Andruzzi (2003), Troy Brown (2004), Matt Light (2005), Jarvis Green (2006), Ty Warren (2007), Larry Izzo (2008), Kevin Faulk (2009), Vince Wilfork (2010) and Jerod Mayo (2011).
The award is named in honor of the late Ron Burton, the first player drafted by the Patriots and a community leader known for his charitable work. Ron is the father of WBZ-TV sports anchor Steve Burton and reporter Paul Burton.