When New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski isn’t on the field scoring touchdowns, he isn’t necessarily partying 24/7 as it appears to most folks. Instead, the popular tight end devotes much time attending charitable events surprising and enriching the lives of kids.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Gronkowski visited Holten Richmond Middle School in Danvers, Mass. after parents of two children bid at the annual Patriots Charitable Foundation auction to bring Gronk to the school. This was the second year Gronkowski’s stardom helped raise big money for the franchise’s charity.
Gronkowski took his time at the school assembly, answering questions, taking selfies and even teaching the kids how to properly spike a football.
“He was so accessible to the kids, down to earth,” said Adam Federico, the school’s principal, via ESPN. “He was at their level and they really enjoyed how authentic it was to spend time with somebody like him. The message was great to the kids, about the importance of being involved with sports and activities in school, and I think they took it to heart.”
The visit to the middle school took place five weeks after Gronk spent time with military members and their families who are adjusting to having family overseas. The tight end participated in the Department of Defense event which was held just two days after the Patriots were victorious over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the team’s season opener.
And as part of the exciting summer of Gronk that didn’t always involve chugging and twerking, Gronk visited the Boston Children’s Hospital in coordination with a local foundation to help raise money for cancer research in July. For two years now, Gronk has attended the annual buzz-off and has selflessly shaved his head at the foundation’s event.
The month of June saw Gronkowski volunteering at Massachusetts General Hospital and visiting various schools to share the Lombardi Trophy in person with students. Gronk was also part of the NFL’s Play 60 initiative when he visited local schools to help promote exercise and healthy nutrition.
As for the approaching holidays, Gronk is a regular when it comes to volunteering at the Patriots annual Goodwill/Thanksgiving event and kid’s holiday party. Last year he let the kids decorate him like a holiday spruce.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 11, 2014
Donna Spigarolo, the Patriots team director of human relations, gushes about of Gronk’s willingness to participate.
“If I call him to do something, he’ll do it for me. His enthusiasm is contagious, no matter where he goes, and he always brings a smile to the room. It’s a joy to work with him.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft also commented on Gronk’s vivacious personality and willingness to volunteer his time.
“I don’t think that Rob has ever had a bad day. His happy, go-lucky attitude is infectious, which makes him a great ambassador when he is out in the community.”
Since most reports and buzz about Gronk involve him clubbing with or living it up in his party bus, it is worth pointing out his selfless participation in so many community events that touch the hearts of many.
One more fine example of Gronkowski reaching out is his planned outing with a child to visit Gillette Stadium this upcoming Saturday in conjunction with Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Gronkowski, who lives off residuals and endorsement money and has never spent any of his contractual paychecks, discussed his involvement in community and charity events.
“I was always blessed growing up with opportunities and access to facilities, equipment, and playing with my brothers in the backyard to be the best athlete I could be,” he continued. “Everyone always helped me out growing up, and everyone now supports me Sunday. So whenever there’s a chance to give back, to the community, to the less fortunate kids so they have the opportunity to gain the most potential they can in their life to be success, it’s always good to do.”
With so many negative stories involving NFL players dominating the news headlines, it’s a pleasure to share something positive that puts a smile on people’s faces. Gronk is a true crowd-pleaser, and it’s refreshing to see that he realizes he wouldn’t be where he is today without his fans who love and support him.