05/04/2012 1:38 PM - CHICAGO – The Arena Football League announced Friday that Sharks kicker Marco Capozzoli has been named National Guard Community MVP of the Week for his recent philanthropic efforts.
Capozzoli (6-1, 210, Montclair State) is in his third season in the AFL and his second with the Sharks.
Capozzoli is the founder of “Kicks for Kids,” a charity created last year after Capozzoli met a three-year old from England named Chevan. Chevan was receiving treatment at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute and staying with his mother at the Ronald McDonald House in Jacksonville. After being invited to practice, Chevan and Capozzoli connected immediately.
“We spent some time with him, saw him at the hospital, played with him and visited him at the Ronald McDonald House,” Capozzoli said. “He had such an impact on our lives I just felt like there was something that I needed to do to help him out and help out all of the children that are suffering and battling these health issues.”
After spending time with Chevan in July, Capozzoli founded “Kicks for Kids,” in his honor. For every successful extra point he converts, Capozzoli donates $10 to the cause. He donates $30 for every field goal made.
All of the proceeds go directly to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville and the Sharks organization matches the amount donated by Capozzoli.
“The Sharks match every penny that I donate and we have fans that also go online and match my donation for a game, or donate whatever they can,” Capozzoli said.
Capozzoli and his teammates continue to spend time at the Ronald McDonald House visiting with children. A few weeks ago, the team met Bryce, another child spending time at the Ronald McDonald House.
“He’s a huge Sharks fan but he couldn’t go to the game because he had to receive treatments,” Capozzoli said. “So I went with a few of my teammates and visited him at his home and we played some football with him.”
Capozzoli said that the best part of volunteering and supporting the Ronald McDonald House is being able to help in little ways to put a smile on a kids face.
“We take so many things for granted these days,” Capozzoli said. “Spending time with these kids has really opened my eyes.”
The Jacksonville Sharks (2-4) face the New Orleans VooDoo (3-3) in Week 9 tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET on “NET10 Arena Football Friday” on NFL Network.
The National Guard Community MVP is awarded to one player each week in recognition of their commitment to community service. Following the 2012 season, players will be voted on by fans to become the National Guard Community MVP of the Year.