New York City, NY- The New York Jets have named center Kevin Mawae as the Club’s 2005 Walter Payton Man of the Year. Through events, fundraisers and donations, Mawae has helped raise nearly a quarter-million dollars for charitable efforts. As the Jets’ award winner, Mawae will receive $1,000 to donate to the 501(c)(3) organization of his choice, PRC Compassion. The Pastor’s Resource Council (PRC) is a coalition of churches and pastors who address community needs and distribute relief.
Mawae is eligible to win the national Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and be recognized at a press conference during Super Bowl week in Detroit, MI. The national winner will receive $25,000 to donate to the 501(c)(3) organization of his choice. Since 1970, the NFL has awarded the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award to recognize a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence.
Mawae has dedicated his support and time off the field to a number of worthwhile causes. The Jets’ center created the “Kevin Mawae, 1st and Goal Challenge” to benefit Winthrop University Hospital’s Child Life Program. This initiative began in 2004 and has continued through 2005 as an Jets offense performing donation program based on offensive touchdowns, first downs, and 100 yard rushing games. In 2004, the program raised more than $40,000 to help fund a new Child Life specialist at the hospital. Along with the program, Kevin frequently visits to the hospital to spend time with patients.
A native of Leesville, LA, and a product of Louisiana State University, Mawae has a close connection with the New Orleans community. After Hurricane Katrina the Jets center organized the “Mawae Movement,” a food and supplies drive for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. With less than two weeks to plan the “Mawae Movement”, Kevin was able to set up a collection for food, diapers, baby formula, and hygiene products which resulted in the filling of two large moving trucks.
All the goods were donated to Feed the Children, an international, non-profit relief organization that delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disaster. Prior to the “Mawae Movement,” the former Tiger flew to New Orleans with several teammates to visit those affected by the storm. Mawae also was present at the Jets “Thanksgiving for Katrina Relief” food drive where he encouraged customers of a local Pathmark to donate non-perishable food to the drive.