BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bills linebacker Tyrel Dodson became eligible for the Alan Page Community Award after being selected by the National Football League Players Association as the Community MVP for Week 16.
The most recent recipient of the Alan Page Community Award, regarded as the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player, was Bills safety Damar Hamlin. Presented annually since 1966, the award is given to a player who goes above and beyond to perform community service in his hometown or team’s city. Previous winners from the Bills include Bill Brooks in 1995, and Mark Kelso in 1993.
“I’m honored to be recognized for something that I love to do,” Dodson said in a news release. “I love giving back and finding ways to help people who are impacted by some of the same things that had an impact on my life.”
Dodson was recognized by the NFLPA for partnering with Gabe’s Collision to provide a group of single mothers from the YWCA of Western New York a holiday shopping spree at Target. He also gifted the women with jewelry, Christmas trees, ornaments and gingerbread houses to decorate with children.
“Giving back to hard-working moms is a special initiative to me,” said Dodson, who was raised by his mother Angela in Franklin, Tennessee. “I know how hard my mom worked to provide for my brother and I, and I hope this was memorable experience for them and their children.”
Dodson, who has started eight games this season after All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano went on injured reserve, compiling 66 tackles and 1.5 sacks, was joined at the community outreach event by Bills linebackers Terrel Bernard, Tyler Matakevich, Baylon Spector and Dorian Williams, each displaying his gift-wrapping ability.
In his fifth season with the Bills after signing as undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M, Dodson also has worked with the Brothers of Mercy retirement home to provide medical-grade air purifiers, hosted an arcade day for the Best Buddies of Buffalo program, raised $10,000 in snow relief aid for the homeless community in WNY, Bills facility tours for single mothers and children on Giving Tuesday, and an annual football camp for underserved youth in his hometown.
“I enjoy meeting new people and establishing connections,” Dodson said. “Through this, I’m able to give the community hope and inspiration. It also brings me back to my roots, which makes me appreciate my journey, both on and off the field.”
The NFLPA will make a $10,000 donation to Dodson’s chosen charity for his Community MVP recognition. The Week 15 winner was Dodson’s former Bills teammate Harrison Phillips, now playing for the Minnesota Vikings. Five finalists for the Alan Page Community Award will be announced at season’s end.
The award honoring the former Vikings All-Pro lineman who was the NFL MVP in 1971 and later became a state Supreme Court judge in Minnesota will be presented in February prior to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
Hamlin received a $100,000 donation for his Chasing M’s Foundation last year for winning the Alan Page Community Award.
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