Allen Park, Mich. - Quarterback Drew Stanton has been selected as the Detroit Lions' 2009 Robert Porcher Man of the Year, an award that recognizes off-the-field community service. Stanton is one of 32 finalists, one from each NFL team, who receives $1,000 for his foundation and is a finalist for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year honor.
In his third year season in the NFL, Stanton has established his own foundation and is a leader in charity work in his home state of Michigan.
The High 5ive Foundation is a 501c3 organization that Stanton established in 2008. The main focus of his foundation is to support programs at Special Olympics and Children's Miracle Network. He has been heavily involved with both organizations since his collegiate career at Michigan State University.
Special Olympics is an organization Stanton worked with during his playing days at MSU and he continues his relationship with them. He has assisted with the Michigan summer and winter games, speaking and handing out medals at the summer games in Mt. Pleasant and being the emcee for the past two winter games in Traverse City.
Stanton donates 30 tickets for every Lions' home game through the Lions' CATS (Caring Athletes Ticket Service) for Kids program. Children's Miracle Network receives 20 tickets to each game and the other 10 are given to several groups including Special Olympics and Old Village School, a school for disabled and special needs children in Northville, Michigan. The children receive tickets to the game, a meal during the game, and a welcome message on the video board.
Stanton is also very involved in assisting and supporting the Dearborn Animal Shelter. He has participated in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Detroit Lions' Pet Calendar for which all proceeds from the sale of the calendars benefit the Dearborn Animal Shelter. He also has helped the shelter with PSA's for various events, participated in their annual Mutt Strut and he and his wife Kristin were honorary chairs for their annual Black Tie Gala in 2008 and 2009.
Stanton, his wife and family served Thanksgiving dinner at the Detroit Rescue Mission on Thanksgiving Day following the Lions' annual Thanksgiving Day game. Stanton reads to students at schools, attends charity golf outings, makes hospital visits, speaks at athletic banquets and school assemblies, hosts football camps, serves meals at homeless shelters and participates in reading days and activities. Stanton participates in all of the Lions' team community activities. He has helped with Play 60 events, participated in Jump Rope for Heart with the American Heart Association and other fitness activities for youth.
The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will be announced live on CBS before Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010. The prestigious award was renamed in 1999 for the legendary Chicago Bears Pro Football Hall of Fame running back. The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award has been given annually since 1970.