Selected as the Washington Redskins' 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year for his contributions both on the field and in the community, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan was instrumental to the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation's impact in the D.C. area.
The most recognizable players on the field each NFL game day have a tendency to go unnoticed in the community. Not the case for Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.
A staple at charitable and community events throughout the Greater Washington, D.C. area, he made himself just as recognizable last year for beginning both his own foundation and supporting others'.
That's why Kerrigan, on Wednesday, was named the 2015 Redskins Community Man of the Year award winner at the annual Washington Redskins Welcome Home Luncheon.
Kerrigan, who was named the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner, was near the top of the team's community chart, which shows a tally of how many events a player has attended throughout the season, providing a statistic he is just as proud of as his play on the field.
"Ryan cares deeply about this community and has put a great deal of thought into the causes he supports," said Jane Rodgers, Executive Director of the WRCF last year. "As a result, his ability to make a difference and his impact is truly powerful. Once he decides to get involved, he does it with the same level of intensity he shows on the field."
Kerrigan participated in numerous events on behalf of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, making visits to pediatric wings at a local Children's Hospital and attending the annual Skins Santa Shoppe. He was also seen at many of the Fuel Up To Play 60 events, which promote physical fitness and healthy diets for children.
The inspiration he drew from his years attending these events helped him put the causes he cares about into action.
In 2013, Kerrigan began his own Foundation "Blitz for the Better," with a mission to provide opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need. Two years later, he helped the launch of "Kerrigan's Korner," providing gaming systems, movies and toys to kids at the in-patient surgery wing at Children's National Health System. Since then, he's added two more to local hospitals.
"To see the growth of the foundation throughout the past three years or so and the number of Kerrigan's Korners we've been able to open throughout the area, these are always really fun days," Kerrigan said. "[It's] really rewarding to be able to see the kind of impact we're able to have on the community."
Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan on Friday, June 5, 2015, unveiled his "Kerrigan's Korner" electronic hub at Children's National Health System as part of the linebacker's "Blitz For The Better" foundation.
In addition, Kerrigan has also devoted his time to hosting the annual Leukemia Golf Classic at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va., helping raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Each Leukemia Golf Classic features a patient hero, whose story serves as an inspiration and as the direct meaning behind the tournament: to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
"It's been cool to be able to headline the event these past couple of years because I know this event means a lot to the Redskins and to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society," Kerrigan said. "So to be able to be involved with it has been really rewarding, really fun, and this year we have an even bigger turnout than we did last year so you can see that we're having a good impact on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society."
Kerrigan has made just as much noise on the field, too, in his young career.
Selected by the Redskins in the first round in 2011, the outside linebacker and Purdue product was selected as one of the NFL Top 100 players of 2015, another accolade he added to a career that's seen him amass 289 tackles, 47.5 sacks, two interceptions and 17 forced fumbles.