CREATED Aug. 14, 2012
Sports Reporter: Jason Barr, Sports Director
FLAGSTAFF (Arizona Cardinals) Pro Football Weekly announces in this week’s paper that Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald is the recipient of the 14th annual Arthur S. Arkush Humanitarian Award, presented to a NFL player whose contributions to the community and charitable organizations are especially outstanding.
Here are just a few of the ways that Fitzgerald makes a positive impact off the field:
The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund funds positive activities for kids during the summer and throughout the year, with programs in Arizona, Minneapolis and Chicago. It also makes significant contributions — in time, money and resources — to numerous organizations throughout the United States.
His work with the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, which was established in honor of his late mother, who passed away from breast cancer in 2003, offers support of causes that Fitzgerald’s mother held dear, including educating urban youth about HIV/AIDS and breast cancer issues.
He has traveled to Africa multiple times, both on humanitarian missions with his good friend Anquan Boldin and on behalf of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. His most recent trip to the continent was in late July right before training camp when he flew to Uganda to assist President Clinton and his daughter Chelsea fit hearing aids for those in need.
His use of social media has been exemplary. Through Twitter and Facebook he connects with his fans while also benefiting others. For example, He created “Gimme 5 Fridays with Fitz.” in which he tweets to his huge following (more than 1.3 million followers as of this writing) and asks “Team Fitzgerald” to text HAND to 50555 and $5 is given to Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH).
Fitzgerald was one of five finalists for this year’s Humanitarian Award. The other finalists were Matt Birk of the Ravens, Thomas Davis of the Panthers, Davin Joseph of the Buccaneers and Matt Schaub of the Texans.
Other nominees included: Lorenzo Alezander, Redskins; Antoine Bethea, Colts; Rob Bironas, Titans; Reggie Bush, Dolphins; Chris Canty, Giants; Mason Crosby, Packers; Vernon Davis, 49ers; Fred Jackson, Bills; Malcolm Jenkins, Saints; Derrick Johnson, Chiefs; Brett Keisel, Steelers; James Laurinaitis, Rams; Roy Lewis, Seahawks; Brad Meester, Jaguars; Zoltan Mesko, Patriots; Brandon Moore, Jets; Corey Peters, Falcons; Adrian Peterson, Vikings; Marcel Reece, Raiders; Philip Rivers, Chargers; Charles Tillman, Bears; Andrew Whitworth, Bengals; Wesley Woodyard, Broncos; Usama Young, Browns.
The award is named in honor of Arthur S. Arkush, the founder of Pro Football Weekly.