Amid the star-studded extravaganza of Super Bowl 50, one quiet moment rose up through the fanfare: Anquan
Boldin receiving the Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his charitable efforts and his dedication to his hometown of Pahokee.
Many around the nation may not have known the size of Mr. Boldin’s heart for his community, but for any local, the award came as no surprise.
Anquan is Pahokee. After making it big in the NFL, Anquan never forgot about his hometown; to see the sight of the celebrity star walking down a Pahokee street unassumingly is no strange sight at all, given how frequently Anquan returns to his city.
For 10 years now, his Anquan Boldin Foundation has been seeking to give the kind of opportunities to underprivileged children that they may not have otherwise gotten. In 2014, Boldin and his wife pledged $1 million to expand his foundation.
Among other activities and philanthropic efforts, the Anquan Boldin Foundation offers a summer enrichment program, Thanksgiving food drives and holiday shopping sprees, and has awarded 13 four-year scholarships since 2004.
On Tuesday of this week, the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners proclaimed February 9, 2016 as Anquan Boldin Day. Anquan was on hand to receive the award.
In accepting the award from members of the Walter Payton family, Anquan spoke about his personal mission to use his influence to improve the lives of children.
“When I first got into the NFL, nobody could tell me anything. I was living life,” he said. “I had achieved my dream of one day making it into the NFL, but I soon realized that’s not what life is all about. I realized my purpose in life was not to make it to the NFL and score touchdown. God put me on this earth for something much bigger than that and I realized and understand what my purpose is now. It’s my prayer and my hope that I can live out the rest of my life honoring God and help as many people as possible.”