Move over Dos Equis spokeman, there’s a new most interesting man in the world—his name is Larry Fitzgerald.
Larry Fitzgerald is one of the NFL’s hardest working players, evidenced by his multiple Pro Bowl invites and his outstanding career statistics. But, when he’s not catching touchdown passes, or working on his chemistry with new-QB Carson Palmer at team mini-camp, Larry Fitzgerald leads one of the most exciting lives outside of football.
In 2012, Larry Fitzgerald took time out of his busy football schedule to conduct the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. The venue, packed with Cardinals fans wearing their number 11 jerseys, gave Fitz a standing ovation after his led role in conducting the Star-Spangled Banner.
After fulfilling a life-long dream to conduct the Phoenix Symphony, Fitzgerald charted into an even bigger territory when he was announced as a judge for the Miss USA Competition—making every man envious in the process. The seven-time Pro Bowler was one of the nine final judges announced for the competition broadcast on NBC.
“We have a great show in store for our fans and a diverse lineup of judges to select our next Miss USA,” said Paula M. Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization. “We like to bring a mix of talent to the judging panel. It reflects who we are as a country and creates an interesting outcome for the competition.”
Although Fitz has racked up a number of amazing opportunities, he is still very involved in his community. Among his biggest accomplishments in his outstanding charity work which includes supporting the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund. The fund was established in honor of his mom, Carol, who passes away in 2003 from breast cancer.
In 2004 Larry also established the Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund to support children and their families. The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund has given money for computer equipment, vision care, and other activities to support youth.
“My interest and extensive involvement with charities is rooted within my immediate family. My Mom was involved in many non profit and charitable ventures throughout her life and the spirit of “giving” and “giving back” was instilled in me at a very young age,” said Fitzgerald. “I feel blessed to be able to play football professionally and the associated financial rewards allow me the freedom to pursue and actively participate in a number of charitable ventures. Beyond providing monetary assistance to worthy organizations, I enjoy being able to interact with underprivileged youth and children with disabilities. Charitable work has become an increasingly important part of my life and I try to allow as much time as possible to actually “be involved” during the off season and even during the season when time permits.”
During the past few seasons Larry and the First Down Fund have made donations to breast cancer organizations based on his touchdowns and receptions in the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The following organizations have received significant donations as a result of this initiative: The National Breast Cancer Foundation, the American Cancer Society, African American Breast Cancer Alliance, and Sistas of AZ Pink 365 campaign providing free mammograms.
The star wideout is also set to be awarded with the Alfredo J. Molina Community Lifeline Award at Teen Lifeline’s 2013 Connections of Hope, according to his official website.
The 10th annual event is a night to celebrate and raise funds for the connections of hope found daily by troubled teens that call Teen Lifeline’s peer-to-peer hotline. Fitzgerald’s contributions to children in Arizona, and internationally, have touched thousands of lives and encouraged those children to stay motivated and be their best.
“I didn’t know about the devastating problem of teen suicide in our community until I learned about Teen Lifeline. I witnessed firsthand the incredible work that is being done and the lives being saved by the amazing teen volunteers. I am grateful that I am able to support an organization that provides hope to kids during their most difficult times,” says Fitzgerald.
So what is it about the talented NFL star that makes him so generous off the field? Fitzgerald gives all of the credit to his maturity and level-headedness to the secure, loving environment in which he was raised by his parents.
“I never went to bed hungry, always had food in my stomach and a warm coat on my back,” Fitzgerald says. “I always went to great schools. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the sacrifices my father and mother made for me.”
Despite an impressive off-field résumé, Fitzgerald still has some work to do attaining similar achievements on the football field. Though few can compete with some of Fitzgerald’s off-field accolades, there are a number of players that can claim something that not even the talented wide receiver can—a Lombardi Trophy.
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