On Sunday, December 9th, Gillette Stadium came alive for the 13th Annual Game with the Greats.
As the New England Patriots faced the Miami Dolphins in Florida, fans, cheerleaders, and alumni took over Gillette Stadiums Putnam Club.
The New England Patriots Alumni Club (NEPAC) hosted the fundraiser to support the Football for YOU program.
Children in the Greater Boston area can learn football skills through the program’s one day camps at no-cost. The program works in partnership with the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and the NFL Foundation.
Fans could meet and greet alumni for photographs, autographs, and a conversation.
Raffle tickets were available for purchase in addition to a live auction. Fans could walk away with signed photos of current players such as Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, or Rob Gronkoswki.
Other prizes included a piece of an original stadium seat from Foxboro Stadium, helmets signed by the alumni, and even a grill for tailgating.
Viewers could watch the game from the stadium stands or within the club room.
Tatiana Jaroschtuck, a Boston University junior, volunteered at the event. The daughter of a former Patriots player, she says she has attended these events since she was young.
Former Patriots offensive linesman and President of NEPAC, Peter Brock, recalled the reactions of Football for You participants.
“The kids had that look of hope, that look of ‘teach me something’,” he said.
According to Brock, the Game with the Greats provides an opportunity where “we all get to yell and cheer not in our own living room.”
Patriots Cheerleader Julia Rossi, a Rhode Island native, said the event brought a new avenue to interact with fans.
“It’s one thing to be on the field and dancing. It’s another thing to meet people face to face,” she said.
Former tight end Don Hasselbeck said he enjoys seeing the team’s long-running success.
“Most of these fans don’t realize that we were terrible when we were young,” he said with a smile.