Aaron Rodgers was acknowledged this evening as a runner-up to the NFL’s 2015 Man of the Year Award at the annual NFL Honors award show. The award, which was presented this year to Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers is given to the athlete who not only excels on the gridiron but who has the most profound impact on his community through volunteer service and community outreach. With the award comes a $50,000 donation from the NFL Foundation and Nationwide to the charity of his choice. Rodgers’ charitable endeavors helping victims of childhood cancer, as well as his efforts raising awareness for various charities within Wisconsin, garnered his nomination this year. Although he didn’t win this particular honor, Rodgers did receive the NFL MVP award.
One of the charities which Rodgers has teamed up with is the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC Fund), helping raise over $1.5 million through personal efforts, campaigns, and events. Founded in 1976, the MACC Fund is dedicated to funding childhood cancer and related blood disorder research, and Aaron has been dedicated to helping that cause in anyway he can. This past May was the fifth annual “An Evening With Aaron Rodgers” for MACC, an hourlong event in which Rodgers opens up to a small group of fans about all things football as they enjoy a special menu from “Mo’s… A Place for Steaks” and an open bar. This event helped push MACC Fund over the $50 million mark in contributions for advancing the research and treatment for childhood cancers and related blood disorders.
Rodgers has also teamed up with David Gruber, of Gruber Law Offices, LLC., to create itsaaron.com. The idea behind itsaaron.com centers around the need for increased exposure to the good deeds happening around us. Aaron shows up unannounced at the door of individuals whose lives have been profoundly impacted by the good deeds of another within their community. He gives these people the chance to thank those that have helped them through his website, taping the encounters and posting them for the world to see. Through his website Aaron has raised awareness for countless charitable organizations within Wisconsin.
Rodgers has even taken time out of his pre-game routine to give back to Packer Nation. Before Green Bay’s game with Chicago this season, Rodgers met with three-year-old Kellan Meinke, a “Make-A-Wish” foundation child who has been battling life-threatening medical issues. Rodgers exemplifies the understanding that the NFL is about more than just football.
In addition to his charitable endeavors throughout the year, Rodgers also earned the award through his incredible play on the field. Leading the Packers to the NFC Championship Game, Rodgers was once again one of the league’s most productive players, finishing the season with the third most touchdown passes and second best passer rating.
The Man of the Year Award, which was renamed after Walter Payton in 1999, fields a nominee from each of the 32 NFL franchises every season. All 32 nominees receive a $5,000 donation from the NFL Foundation and Nationwide to a charity of their choice. Tonights’ other two finalists, Anquan Boldin of the 49ers and Thomas Davis of the Panthers, each will receive an additional $10,000 donation to the charity of their choice respectively.