Panthers QB Cam Newton, who is currently on Injured Reserve, has just won the Walter Payton NFL Man of The Year Award Charity Challenge. The award is given out each year to 1 of 32 nominees from the NFL (1 nominee from each team) who has shown exceptional character and work both on and off the football field.
Newton received more than 600,000 votes to win first place, twice as many as second-place Nick Sundberg.
In the NFL’s description of the winner, they note that Cam has been “motivated by the Bible verse ‘from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked’ (Luke 12:48), Cam has consistently invested in others, dating back to his time before the NFL when he would encourage youth at his local church.”
In a statement, Cam Newton thanked God and his fans for the award:
“I appreciate the fans for showing support in helping Nationwide’s Charity Challenge,” Newton said. “I’m using this platform to enhance programs and grants that will greatly impact the community. To be nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award is something that I really appreciate – because it’s bigger than football. God has blessed me and all I’m trying to do is bless others.”
In 2012, the star quarterback established the Cam Newton Foundation, with 3 main pillars of focus: EVERY 1 PLAYS (youth activity, mentoring high school players), EVERY 1 GIVES (donations and community outreach) and EVERY 1 LEARNS (diversity and societal education). Together, they make up the foundation’s guiding principle and Newton’s personal belief of EVERY 1 MATTERS.
Since the organization’s birth, it has provided over $5 million in funding and programming resources to schools and non-profit agencies in Atlanta and Charlotte. Over 12,500 student-athletes and coaches have participated in Newton’s EVERY 1 PLAYS initiative and over 11,850 need-based youth have been provided meals and gifts through Newton’s signature annual programs: “Cam’s Thanksgiving Jam” and “Santa Cam’s Surprise Sleigh.”
Way to go Cam!