All Sports United (@allsportsu) announced today that retired NFL lineman Matt Light has been honored as the winner of the 2014 Humanitarian Award today, a prize given annually to an outstanding professional athlete for excellence in philanthropy. Light’s nonprofit organization, The Light Foundation, will receive a $100,000 prize package to further its mission and public exposure.
“I’ve been doing this for over a decade, working alongside people who tirelessly give their time,” Light said. “For all the people that do that, this night is all about them. It’s such an honor and such a humbling moment. It’s just incredible.”
The Light Foundation will receive assets and services donated by Media Cause, Auction Cause, Social Ambassador, Pro Player Insiders, G2G Collection, and BiTHouse.
Light was selected out of a group of 40 nominations for the award. Twelve finalists, as determined by the results of a month-long online vote, converged in Chicago for a ceremony where a panel decided the winner. Other notable finalists included Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks), Bill Belichick (New England Patriots), Allison Baver (Olympic speed skater) and Isiah Thomas (National Basketball Association).
“We’re very proud of all of our finalists, “All Sports United Co-Founder Alan Pavlosky said. “They’ve all presented themselves extremely well and have put in hard work. Matt Light couldn’t make us more proud as our winner. He’s very humble, shies away from self-promotion and works very hard to help people. It’s his calling and our calling to recognize him.”
The Light Foundation (@LightFoundation) gives at-risk youth “a better chance at leading healthy lives by using the great outdoors to learn and grow.” Since its inception in 2001, Light, the foundation’s staff and numerous volunteers have worked together to guide youth through challenging periods in their lives. Based on a nearly 500-acre facility in Ohio, the Light Foundation welcomes any foundation working with youth to use it facility for free.
Light’s charitable acts capture the essence of All Sports United’s mission to have sports philanthropies share resources and collaborate for the greater good. To join Light’s cause visit www.mattlight72.com.
“The people here tonight,” Light said, “are those who want to share the knowledge that they’ve gained from giving back. For me to be able to hear from the other finalists about the work they do and how inspirational it is, it highlights the fact that in a world where competition is key, there are large communities that are out there that are dedicated to finding ways to make real impact. Through All Sports United, we can share that knowledge and create a much more engaging way to provide opportunities for athletes to make an impact.”
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All Sports United aims to elevate the overall success of athletes dedicated to giving back. The organization uses a variety of social platforms, such as keynotes, workshops, and panel discussions, to educate, collaborate, and innovate, while facilitating high-level discussions. For more information on All Sports United and its Sports Philanthropy Initiative, visit www.allsportsunited.org.
- Special to All Sports United
Correspondent Anthony Baldini