Drew Brees is best known as the quarterback who led the New Orleans Saints to a Super Bowl Championship in 2010, with one of the best performances ever in the NFL championship game. He completed 32 passes, which tied a record in 39 attempts for 288 yards and two touchdowns, passing to eight different receivers, as his team beat the favored Indianapolis Colts 31-17. He also led the team to victory after trailing 10-0, which equaled the biggest comeback in a Super Bowl game. Brees is not only a Super Bowl champion, but is also known to many as a person who cares about others, as he has helped his charity advance cancer research, care for cancer patients, and rebuild parks, playgrounds, and schools in various cities.
It was the first Super Bowl championship for the Saints, who have actually had only a few winning seasons and playoff appearances, without even a previous NFC championship, let alone a Super Bowl win, in 42 seasons prior to this season. It was far from the first success as a football player for Drew Brees, however. As a high school quarterback, he led WestlakeHigh School in Dallas, Texas, to a perfect 16-0 record and the 5A state championship. At Purdue University, which is often not a football powerhouse, he led the Boilermakers to the Rose Bowl and Big Ten Championship in 2000. He also won the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top college player and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy twice.
Drew Brees has been elected to three Pro Bowls, been the NFL Comeback Player of the Year, been the 2008 offensive player of the year, and the 2006 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year during his three seasons with the Saints and his five previous seasons with the San Diego Chargers. He also won the 2009 Henry Iba Award for Excellence in Community Service, the 2008 Horizon Award, presented by the United States Congress for Excellence in Community Service, as well as other awards.
In 2003 Drew Brees showed he was more than a football star when he founded the Brees Dream Foundation as a charity to assist in cancer research, as well as provide opportunites, education, and care for needy children. The foundation has committed more than $4.5 million to charities and academic causes in New Orleans, San Diego, and West Lafayette/ Purdue.
To generate the money and help others, his charity has had programs such as Bikes for Kids, Brees on the Seas, The Drew Brees NFL Players Golf Championship, which was televised on the NFL Network, Rebuilding Through Brotherhood, Brees on the Tees Golf Pro-Am, the Gridiron Challenge, and Cocktails for Katrina. His charity has also participated in many other programs.
The Brees on the Seas program includes hosting 30 children from Children’s Hospital for a day of fishing.
The Rebuilding Through Brotherhood Program annually unites members of the Sigma Phi Fraternity from across Canada and the United States to rebuild homes in New Orleans.
The Purdue Athletes Life Success Program (PALS) includes the Brees Dream Foundation and the Purdue Federal Employees Credit Union joining forces to raise funds for the Purdue Athletes Life Success (PALS) program at PurdueUniversity. Drew Brees and dozens of other golfers participate in the scramble event.
Drew Brees also was chosen as a member of the Board of Trustees for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been on USO trips to Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Guantanamo BayCuba, Okinawa, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates.
Although Drew Brees has gotten to do what few others do, be the winning quarterback on a Super Bowl team, he says in his official website, www.drewbrees.com, he takes even more pride in his service to the community, and that is why he founded his charity.
Citations: The Trenches, Vinnie Iyer, Sportingnews.com
Drew Brees Foundation, no author listed, Drewbrees.com
Drew Brees, no author listed, Drewbrees.com
Programs, no author listed, Drewbrees.com