Huggins Hospital Pediatrician, Dr. Matos, Receives Patriots Foundation MVP Award
Huggins Hospital's Wolfeboro Pediatrics physician, Michael Matos, MD, FAAP, was recognized as one of this year’s Patriots Foundation MVP Award honorees for his volunteer work as medical director at Camp Carefree, an overnight summer camp for youth with type 1 diabetes. The award was accompanied by a $10,000 donation for the American Diabetes Association. For the past 25 years, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation have been recognizing volunteers for going above and beyond to give back to their communities through the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program.
Camp Carefree is an overnight summer camp in New Durham, NH for youth with type 1 diabetes. For more than a decade, Dr. Matos has taught over 100 campers each year how to count carbs and calculate their insulin levels based on what they eat and how much they exercise. Dr. Matos takes two weeks of vacation time each year to volunteer at the camp.
“Type 1 diabetes is a lonely disease, affecting about one out of every 500 people in our country,” said Dr. Matos. “Although that’s pretty common, many of these children are the only ones at their schools who have type 1 diabetes. Camp allows them the opportunity to know that they’re not alone. That is why I volunteer at diabetes camp each year.”
“A dad was dropping off his nine-year-old daughter at Camp Carefree,” Dr. Matos recalls. “He sheepishly apologized that his wife was usually more on top of the details, but she was in the hospital with their four-year-old daughter who was also just diagnosed with diabetes. Several days later, the parents and four-year-old sister came to camp so that the sisters could see each other. Upon arrival, the family was swarmed by the entire cabin of nine and 10-year-old girls and engulfed in a giant hug.”
On Wednesday, June 8, 26 volunteers gathered at Gillette Stadium to be recognized for their contributions and given the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards. In total, $275,000 in donations were distributed to the nonprofits represented by each volunteer.
“Of all the community initiatives we support through the Patriots Foundation, this was always Myra’s favorite and I am proud that we continue to honor her legacy of volunteerism by recognizing the amazing work of dozens of volunteers each year,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “She loved meeting all of the honorees and hearing their heartwarming stories of volunteerism. There are so many people doing great things in our communities. It restores all faith in humanity. We enjoyed reviewing this year’s applications and selecting the 26 dedicated individuals that are helping to make the world a better place.”
Gillette, a longtime supporter of the New England Patriots and a cornerstone partner of the Patriots Foundation, served as the presenting sponsor for this year’s program. On hand to congratulate the award winners were Robert Kraft, President of Kraft Family Philanthropies Josh Kraft, Patriots, College and Pro Football Hall of Famer, and Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs Andre Tippett and John Claughton, VP of Grooming, North America, Procter & Gamble.
“This program has always been my family’s favorite charitable initiative,” said Josh Kraft. “Each year, we read hundreds of heartfelt stories of volunteerism and we are honored to celebrate those who go above and beyond to help others. We were excited to partner with our good friends at Gillette for this year’s program and appreciate their shared commitment to building stronger New England communities.”
“As a long-time witness of the great and positive impact the Kraft family has had on the New England community, Gillette could not be more proud to share in honoring Myra’s legacy as the presenting sponsor of the Myra Kraft MVP Awards,” said John Claughton. “Joined by the same drive to be a force for good for the communities we serve, Gillette looks forward to supporting all the honorees and volunteers that continue the work Myra so passionately championed.”
The 2022, Myra Kraft Community MVP winners range from 15 to 85 years old and represent every New England state. The selected nonprofits provide support for many causes, including education, domestic violence prevention, healthcare, homelessness, mentoring and military support.
Since its inception, the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program has recognized more than 450 volunteers and donated more than $3 million to support nonprofit organizations across New England.
The Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation received more than 250 applications this year from nonprofit organizations looking to recognize their outstanding volunteers.
Procter & Gamble’s VP of Grooming, North America, John Claughton (far left), Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett congratulate Huggins Hospital Pediatrician, Michael Matos, MD, for being selected as a 2022 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award winner. (photo courtesy of Eric J. Adler/New England Patriots)