By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - This past summer, a 10-year-old in my town named Brentwas playing in a baseball tournament on the Cape. In one of the final games of the event, Brent was pitching when an opposing batter looped a short foul ball on the third base line. Breaking for the ball immediately, Brent got to the foul line and dove. At the same time, his catcher did the same thing. Brent made the catch - a remarkable one - but also broke his leg in two places in the collision. After a couple of harrowing days, Brent was back home, laid up on the family couch in the middle of the summer with a cast up to his hip. On a Saturday afternoon in the middle of the NFL lockout, Jerod Mayo calledBrent to see how he was doing. It made the kid's day. Tuesday night, Mayo was named the 2011 winner of the New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award. He was presented with the honor at the Kickoff Gala held by the Patriots Charitable Foundation. "My biggest passion is just giving back to the kids; they're our future and I know it sounds cliche' but it's the truth," Mayo said after being presented with the award. "Some of them really don't have direction and things like that so anytime it has something to do with kids, I'm there."I'm sure Mayo looks at the phone call he placed to Brent as being no big deal. Just a couple of minutes to make a kid who was down feel up for a little while. But the fact I felt comfortable calling on Mayo or that favor and the fact I knew he wouldn't look at it as a big encumberance tells you all you need to know about him, There are a lot of coaches and players in the Patriots' organization willing to quietly give, beginning with the head coach Bill Belichick. Mayo, though? He's something special. He gives the impression he wants to go out of his way to help people. In his three short years in New England, Jerod has made large contributions both on and off the field, said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. Both in uniform and and as an active volunteer in the community, he has done everything asked of him and more. He continually makes us proud to have drafted him in 2008. He is a most deserving recipient of the Ron Burton Award.Added Andre Tippett, the Patriots Executive Director of Community, "If it helps kids, hes there. We know him to always roll up his sleeves while getting involved in creative ways, including leading art projects, serving children dinner and playing interactive games. It is clear that he wants to use his experience as a father to make a difference in the lives of each child he meets. In 2010, Mayo launched The Mayo Bowl, an annual celebrity bowling event to raise funds for Pitching in for Kids, a charity that provides earmarked grants to improve the lives of children in New England. The 2011 edition will be held at King's in Dedham on September 19.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.
By Tom E. Curran