Kyle Rudolph – Nominee for Humanitarian of the Year

Kyle Rudolph – Nominee for Humanitarian of the Year

By Erik Erlendsson

Pitching in to help others comes natural to Kyle Rudolph.

The Minnesota Vikings’ tight end was always willing to lend a hand to teammates seeking charitable contributions. But this year, Rudolph took a step forward when he, along with his wife Jordan, helped to break ground on Kyle Rudolph’s End Zone at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. The end zone is a 3,000 square-foot area that includes a basketball hoop, kitchen, lounge, sports simulator, and many other things for kids and teens to come down and escape their daily medical needs.

The End Zone is scheduled to open in the Fall, but Rudolph is already actively involved after starting his own celebrity golf tournament to raise funds for the hospital and hosts all the holiday parties at the hospital throughout the year.

It’s a cause that’s close to his heart as his younger brother, Casey, is a childhood cancer survivor having been born with neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer that attacks infants, which required the removal of a kidney and adrenal gland followed by intensive chemotherapy to overcome.

Knowing how much time Casey spent in hospitals during his early years of life proved to be the inspiration for founding the playroom area at Minnesota Masonic. While that endeavor is at the heart of Rudolph’s sense of giving back, he also contributes to other outlets, including the Michael Phelps Foundation and Jason Day’s Brighter Days Foundation.

As accomplished two-sport star at Cincinnati’s Elder High School playing both football and basketball, Rudolph chose the gridiron after accepting a scholarship to attend Notre Dame University. As a freshman in 2008, he came the first true freshman in school history to start the season opener at tight end as well as start all 13 games at the position. In his three seasons with the Irish he finished with 90 receptions, fourth most in school history by a tight end and holds the school record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a single game with 164 against Michigan, which included a 95-yard touchdown reception, one yard shy of tying the school record.

In 2011, the Vikings selected Rudolph with the 43rd overall pick and a year later Rudolph was named to the Pro Bowl, earning MVP honors in the league’s All-Star game.

You can support your favorite nominee in this campaign by favoriting, donating, tweeting and joining his/her team with a chance to be recognized as one of his/her top supporters.  Starting Friday, June 9, you can also come back daily to “Boost” your favorite nominee.  Fans receive points for joining a team, donating, tweeting, boosting or responding to “ do-gooder challenges”.

The direct link to Kyle’s page is https://asu.givkwik.com/KyleRudolph

About the award: Started in 2013 by Alan Pavlosky and Scott Manthorne, Co-Founders of All Sports United, the Most Valuable Philanthropist seeks to recognize the effort of deserving sports philanthropists each year and bring positive news while highlighting the amazing charitable work of many in the sports community.  The winner of the award will receive $10,000 to his or her charity of choice.  The campaign is supported by technology partners Givkwik and xocial.  Each of the partners plays a crucial role in executing the campaign.  Special Thanks to All Sports United Supporter Jeff Tutor for his contributions to the campaign.

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