PHOENIX — Nominees for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award gave 12 children in the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley tickets to the Super Bowl for their efforts in the Valley community on Feb. 10.
The 12 children earned the tickets, along with their own Arizona Cardinals jerseys, as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley’s “Youth of the Year,” recognized for their volunteer efforts assisting the club with their peers.
The players worked in collaboration with the organization to provide all children at the event with a day to meet their favorite players, get active and have discussions about volunteering in the community.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott won the 2023 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and, along with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, spoke to the children about the importance of giving back to the community. Afterward, it was off to the races.
Prescott took the title for his charitable work off the playing field where he created the Faith Fight Finish Foundation, dedicated to cancer research, suicide prevention and building community between law enforcement officers and area youth.
Various stations were present at the event, such as a tree-planting station in the lot where the event was held, a Madden station, a shoe-decorating station and a room for kids to have one-on-one discussions with the players.
The event was a major success for the community, as laughter echoed through the lot where the event was held. All children and players walked away with a smile on their faces.
Tristan Tucker is a sports media graduate student at Medill. You can follow him on Twitter at @TristanRTucker.