Today, United Ways across the country joined with the NFL and Nationwide to announce their team’s nominees for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. We’re excited to reveal that for the second year in a row, Kyle Rudolph is the nominee from the Minnesota Vikings!
Considered one of the league’s most prestigious honors, the award recognizes an NFL player for positive impact in the local community through dedicated service and philanthropic efforts, as well as excellence on the field. See all of the league’s 32 nominees.
As part of our support, United Way will be investing in the charities of choice of all 32 team award winners and in Character Playbook, the NFL and United Way’s digital character education program, in each team winner’s club market.
More than 200,000 students nationwide have used the program as a tool for personal development, many of them right here in the Twin Cities. In fact, nearly 200 Prior Lake students experienced Character Playbook earlier this year.
Since entering the league in 2011, Rudolph has been invested in the Twin Cities community through both his work with children and those serving in the military. Last December, he and wife, Jordan, opened Kyle Rudolph’s End Zone at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. The space allows kids to engage in therapeutic play and experience a sense of normalcy while going through treatments.
Not only has Rudolph made a lasting impact on the lives of the children and their families in the hospital, but the nurses and doctors have also witnessed him go-the-extra-mile for patients in the hospital. Letters were gathered thanking Rudolph and Vikings Entertainment Network captured different nurses, patients, and families reading their letters.
Rudolph is also the NFL’s first ambassador for the United Heroes League, where he has hosted families at practice and games, given away Polaris Off-Road Vehicles, and held football camps worldwide to over a hundred military kids.
The 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner will have $500,000 donated in his name. A donation of $250,000 will be used to expand Character Playbook, while an additional $250,000 donation will be made to the charity of the winner’s choice.
All other 31 nominees will receive a donation of $50,000 in their name to expand Character Playbook and an additional donation of up to $50,000 to their charity of choice. Donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.
We’d like to congratulate Kyle Rudolph and each of the 2018 nominees. Your efforts are helping people across the country reach their full potential. Thank You!