Patriots' Chung aiming to change children's lives with new charity
Tuesday morning, his Patriots will be back on the practice field as they ramp things up in preparation for their looming divisional-round clash with the Texans. Monday night, though, Patrick Chung will have his mind on things other than football.
Bigger than football, really.
Monday night at Mercedes-Benz of Westwood (Mass.), the Patriots' safety will celebrate the launch of "Chung Changing Lives," a foundation he and his wife have started with the stated intention of seizing on the idea that "each person has the ability and power to give a helping hand to a child in need."
It's a cause backed by WilmerHale LLP, Prime Motor Group, Sovereign Bank-Santander, Pitching in for Kids, as well as UMass-Boston, and Monday's event will be a chance to the Chungs to thank those sponsors in addition to the friends who have helped them establish the organization. That includes teammates, some of whom, like Vince Wilfork, have already lent financial support.
"It was important to get my teammates involved," Chung told ESPN.com's Playbook. "He (Wilfork) didn't ask for anything. He was just: 'I got you, man.' It's like a brotherhood almost in the locker room. If they need something and I can help, I'm going to do it. If I need something and they can help, they're going to help. It's kind of a family."
Chung has been an active member of the community since being drafted by the Patriots in 2009, including work as a spokesman for the Sports Museum's Boston vs. Bullies program and various efforts on behalf of other children-related groups. Recently, though, he and his wife, Cecilia, decided to start a foundation of their own, and through it the safety "seeks to increase opportunities for children by providing access to athletic instruction, art & music lessons and instruction, and tutoring & life skills training. The goal of Chung Changing Lives is to cultivate healthy lifestyles and active civic participation for children."
The son of Jamaican reggae singer Sophie George, Chung sang during a performance with the Boston Children's Chorus in November, so although he is a hard-hitter on the field his own interests go beyond the gridiron and extend into other parts of life. That's what he intends for his charity, too. A father himself, he simply wants to give opportunities to kids.
"Music is a hobby. It helps me blank my mind when I get an hour to relax. (With the foundation), that's exactly what we want to do," he told ESPN.com. "If you want to do music and can't, we'll have the connections to make it happen and make those dreams come true. If you want to learn sports, play football, we'll help you out."
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About the authorDave D'Onofrio follows Boston's pro players away from the field, court or ice, covering their interests and activities in the community and beyond. A Massachusetts native, once his dreams of More »
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