Apart from being a shoe-in for the title of best tight end to ever play football and his reputation for being a party animal goon, the 27-year-old Gronkowski fills the rest of his time by making the lives of the less fortunate better.
His generosity with his time rarely grabs headlines, but the dude has a heart of gold. For the past five years, Gronk has frequented Boston Children’s Hospital as part of his partnership with One Mission, a charity that supports pediatric cancer patients and their families. He’s visited marathon bombing victims, shooting victims, and showed up unannounced to the hospital during the holiday season wearing an elf costume. He’s participated in Thanksgiving Goodwill events, holiday charity events and auctions, Department of Defense events (while in season) in support of families who are having tough times adjusting to having loved ones overseas, and has started his own youth foundation. He’s also had sex with my ex-girlfriend.
Of course the Patriots organization mandate players to make a certain number of community appearances each year, but as Donna Spigarolo, the team’s director of community relations, says that Gronk goes above and beyond.
“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.”
On Tuesday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft presented Gronk with the Ron Burton Community Service Award at Gillette Stadium. Gronk gave a speech and dropped the hammer right away.