News / Kevs Foundation wins top award from NE Patriots and Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards
Each year, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation host the awards program as part of the ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative in honor of Myra Kraft’s example of being a lifelong volunteer.
Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Patriots Charitable Foundation President Joshua Kraft, and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett were joined by Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo, kicker Stephen Gostkowski and tackle Nate Solder to celebrate their award on the field of Gillette Stadium.
On June 9, 26 volunteers were recognized for their contributions at a luncheon and awards ceremony at Gillette Stadium. Each Community MVP received grants for their respective nonprofit organizations. Fifteen New England-based organizations were presented with $5,000 grants in honor of their volunteers’ work. Ten others received grants of $10,000 and one grand prize winner was presented $25,000.
Susan Canning of Westield, Massachusetts was selected as this year’s $25,000 grand prize winner.
“Being recognized as a recipient of the Myra Kraft Community MVP award validates the importance of our work in the community and continues to bring awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in youth,” said Canning. “This is such an incredible honor for me and the KEVS Foundation.”
In 2011, Canning lost her son Kevin to sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 19. She managed to turn her grief into a way to positively impact others by creating KEVS Foundation in honor of her son. Canning raises awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, teaches CPR and AED classes and raises funds to help donate AEDs to local schools and fields.
"Susan’s dedication and tenacity encourages our volunteers to forge ahead and continue to spread awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in our youth,” said Dr. Michael Willers from the Children’s Heart Center of Western Massachusetts and Medical Director for the KEVS Foundation. “She turned her unimaginable grief with the loss of her son into lifesaving action. Her selection for the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program helps to increase awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in young adults and recognizes the countless hours she gives in memory of her son Kevin."
This past year, the foundation taught CPR skills to more than 3,800 students and donated more than 20 AED units. Canning helped coordinate more than 900 heart screenings last year and as a result of her screenings, several children have been diagnosed with previously undetected heart conditions.
Canning volunteers tirelessly while also working a full-time job and serves as a constant advocate for sudden cardiac arrest. She has presented several bills to senators and continues to dedicate her time to ensure that no parent experiences the same loss that she did.
“Volunteering, to me, is a way to give back and help others through my life experiences,” said Canning. “It is my hope and desire to give back to families, to help prevent losing another young soul due to sudden cardiac arrest. I'm just so blessed to have a strong community to support my mission and Kevin to guide me to do the right thing."
Cited by: New England Patriots