It was announced this morning that LB E.J. Henderson has been selected as the 2009 Vikings Community Man of the Year.
Since being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2003 Draft, Henderson has been an active member of the team’s community outreach. E.J. has volunteered his time with several local organizations, including United Way, Police Athletic League, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Arc Greater Twin Cities and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.
But Henderson took his volunteerism to a new level in June of 2007, when he established the E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation to benefit underserved Twin Cities urban youth, an effort that was aided by a $100,000 personal donation.
The Foundation program centers on the mind, body and soul by providing academic enrichment, intensive physical workouts, and life skill sessions at Henderson’s GameSpeed Sports Academy in Eden Prairie.
“I’ve been blessed to witness first-hand the impact E.J. is making with local urban youth as far as providing education, fitness and life skills opportunities,” Vikings Executive Director of Community Relations/Youth Football Brad Madson said. “We’ve had the kids down at training camp, we had the chance to go out to GameSpeed and see E.J. work with the kids and had them out to a practice as well.”
E.J. is a strong spokesperson for the NFL’s “Play60” message, which encourages youngsters to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.
Henderson is one of 32 team representatives, one of which will be named the Walter Payton Man of the Year at this year’s Super Bowl.
“I think it’s pretty special,” Henderson said of the honor. “Since I’ve been here, Matt Birk always won it. And I know the type of community work he used to do; he was really involved.
“As I said, it’s an honor to be considered one of the guys from the 32 teams, especially the Vikings because there are a lot of guys doing good things in the community.”
As the Vikings’ representative for the NFL Man of the Year award, Henderson will receive a $1,000 check for the E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation through NFL Charities.
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