On Sunday, October 28, the Los Angeles Rams celebrated their second Community Quarterback Award winner of 2018, MICHAEL HUTCHINSON, on the field during pregame of the Rams-Packers matchup. The Community Quarterback Award, presented by SoCal Honda Dealers, is a volunteer recognition and grant program that awards funding to deserving volunteers and the non-profits that they serve.
With a name tag that reads "#1 Volunteer", Michael Hutchinson dedicates much of his limited free time to serving The Sunshine Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding children who are battling cancer. He's been a volunteer with the non-profit for the past 26 years and he also works full-time as a special education teacher. Hutchinson's passion for serving others in need is fueled by guiding youth and their families through what may be the darkest of times.
"I want to be a part of them being able to forget about what's going on for just a moment and feel like a kid," said Hutchinson. "I want to make them feel like VIPs no matter where they are or what they are doing. These kids have strong wills and they're fighters and that inspires me to keep on helping out as long as I can."
As the Rams players took the field for warm ups, starting Safety JOHN JOHNSON III paid a visit to Hutchinson along with four Sunshine Kids and their families to thank the Community QB for his volunteer efforts and to show his support for youth and family members battling difficult conditions.
"I was shocked when I saw John Johnson III and then touched by the fact that he requested to be the one to congratulate me and present the check," said Hutchinson. "It was truly a touching moment that he took the time to come over and talk with me and the kids. I know he didn't have to take the time, but I appreciate that he did and offered to show support with the Sunshine Kids in the future."
The on-field pregame recognition wasn't the only first-time experience for Hutchinson as he was also attending his first NFL game, which resulted in a nail-biting victory for the Rams against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
"I was honored to even be nominated by the Sunshine Kids for the award," said Hutchinson. "Then finding out that I was selected by the Rams, the first professional football team I have ever seen live, and SoCal Honda Dealers out of all the nominees who are just as deserving as myself. What an amazing feeling. The fact that I was just doing what I enjoy and able to financially help the Sunshine Kids brought tears to my eyes. Thank all of you for this honor. Means so much to me."
The Rams Foundation and SoCal Honda Dealers provide all Community QB winners with a $10,000 grant to further the mission of the nonprofit organization he or she serves and the opportunity to be recognized on-field at a Rams home game. Since the program's inception, the Rams have donated more than $390,000 to community organizations through the Community Quarterback initiative.
The Sunshine Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to children who are battling cancer. Established in 1982, the organization is committed to providing positive group activities and emotional support for young cancer patients through a variety of programs and events that are free of charge for kids who are receiving cancer treatments in hospitals across North America.
For more information about the Rams community outreach efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.