BRISTOL - ESPN on Tuesday recognized a number of its employees for the volunteer work they do in the community, from donating food to soup kitchens to advocating for women’s access to sports programs.
“Thank you for your continued support and commitment to service and volunteering,” Kevin Martinez, vice president of corporate citizenship at ESPN, said at the company’s annual Volunteer of the Year Award Celebration.
Meg Green, ESPN’s senior director of talent recruitment and negotiation, took home the Volunteer of the Year Award for her more than 100 volunteer hours with the Miracle League of Connecticut, which helps children with physical and cognitive challenges to participate in recreational, educational and cultural activities, according to its website.
Fittingly, Green had to leave a volunteer event to attend the ceremony, held on ESPN’s main campus, before heading back to the event.
“This is truly one of my favorite ESPN events of the year,” Paul Richardson, senior vice president of human resources, said before giving Green her award.
Richardson said he always leaves the celebration “a little amazed and incredibly inspired, but somehow never surprised” by the volunteer work ESPN employees do throughout the year.
Christine Driessen, executive vice president and chief financial officer, was given the Enspire Award for her role in advocating for women’s access to sports programs. Driessen has dedicated countless hours to a number of organizations, including the Women’s Sports Foundation, of which she is on the board of trustees.
“You are such a remarkable woman, a mentor and an inspiration to all of us,” Deborah Antoine, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation, said.
“No one stands out in the luminary way that Christine stands out,” she continued.
On-air personality Jalen Rose, a former college and NBA basketball star, was named Volunteer Commentator of the Year.
He could not be present for the ceremony, as he co-hosts the show “Get Up” each morning from New York City. He was presented the award on live TV Tuesday morning for his hundreds of volunteer hours in his hometown of Detroit.
Rose opened a tuition-free, open-enrollment high school in Detroit, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, in 2011 to reduce dropout rates and increase test scores.
ESPN’s Team India was named the International Volunteer Team of the Year for its work in giving underprivileged neighborhoods access to sports fields and equipment, and Team Charlotte was Volunteer Team of the Year for planning 20 volunteer events in Charlotte, N.C., and accumulating more than 700 hours of volunteer work.
ESPN’s Food Rescue Program was given the Environmental Champion Award for delivering more than 10,000 pounds of day-old or two-day-old food from ESPN to food pantries in 2017.
Kathryn Davidson, a creative content producer at ESPN, was awarded the V Spirit Award for her work on a public service announcement for the V Foundation. ESPN has raised more than $80 million for cancer research and awareness since the foundation, named for former college basketball coach Jimmy Valvano, was established.
“As always, there’s plenty to celebrate at this event,” said Treavor Scales, an ESPN commentator who emceed the event.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.