‘Great’ time was had by all

Youth football the winner at Gillette Stadium, thanks to the Patriots Alumni Club

The author (above) on the field at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 12, 2014, for “Game with the Greats,” a fund-raiser put on by the New England Patriots Alumni Club. Among the former Patriots players on hand were Harold Shaw, Gino Cappelletti, Steve Grogan, Steve King, Ronnie Lippett, Patrick Pass, and Pete Brock, one of the founders of the club in 1997.

ZACHARY P., Cunniff Kids News staff

     While Tom Brady was throwing touchdown passes in Buffalo, the New England Patriots Alumni Club was raising money for youth football teams across Massachusetts. Patrick Pass copy

     On Sunday, Oct. 12, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., there was an event called “Game with the Greats,” which was a fund-raising event for the Patriots Alumni.

     The day started off with the on-field activities — this means activities on the Patriots field at Gillette Stadium!

     Gillette Stadium looks a lot smaller when you’re on the field. The field is artificial turf, so naturally, that’s what it smelled like. This event was fun for the whole family because there were lots of families there.

     A man in a Stephen Gostkowski jersey attempted to kick footballs through the uprights. Some people wore player jerseys, like Rob Gronkowski’s, and were doing Gronk spikes in the end zone. There were some people just walking around, taking photos. Other than that, people were getting autographs from former Patriot players.

     There was one person who ran to the end zone and former Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan threw him a pass, and the man made a spectacular diving catch.

     By 11 a.m., everyone moved inside to the Putnam Club where former Patriots were signing autographs. Although there were only about six former Pats outside, inside there were about 20. Some of the former Pats included Steve Grogan, Steve King, Patrick Pass, Joe Andruzzi, and Gino Cappelletti.

     Though Joe Andruzzi looked like a hippo on the offensive line, off the field he seemed 10 times smaller. Patrick Pass, on the other hand, looked bigger than when he was on the field.

    Then Pete Brock, the president of the alumni, made a speech introducing all of the players. After the speech, there was an auction selling Patriots tickets and signed jerseys. Ronnie Lippett and Steve King (left to right) copy

     Being the president of the alumni, Pete said that the main goal of the club is that “we want to make sure everyone has a chance to play football,” he said.

    That is why the Patriots alumni donate money to Pop Warner, American Youth Football, high school football, and to fund their own clinics. Any former Patriot is an alumni member, so when Tom Brady retires, he’ll be an alumni member, too.

    The alumni club was founded by Pete Brock and five other men in 1997. Pete said that one of the reasons they started it was “So we could stay connected with former Patriots, and so future and current Patriots would know who we are,” he said.

     Then the Patriots-Bills game started and fans scrambled to find a place to watch the game. Some fans stayed in the Putnam Club and watched the game on a TV, while others went to the Gillette Stadium seats and watched the game on the jumbotron. Many players were still signing autographs at this time.

     That day, the Patriots still on the field beat Buffalo, 37-22, and the Patriots who used to be on the field were raising money for a great cause!

–Jan. 4, 2015–