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Ron Burton awards dinner honors Quincy philanthropists for helping kids

Avery Bleichfeld
Ron Burton awards dinner honors Quincy philanthropists for helping kids
The Burton Family BANNER PHOTO

The youth development program founded by the late Patriots football legend Ron Burton honored philanthropists Rob and Karen Hale last week at the nonprofit’s annual awards dinner.

The couple was recognized for their extensive donations, like a 2022 effort from the Hales to donate $1 million each week for the whole year, with one week’s worth of donations going to the Ron Burton Training Village to fund the renovation of the Hale Fitness Center, a weight room for program participants.

Keynote speaker Rob Hale. BANNER PHOTO

“They’ve done so much for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, so much for young people, for hospitals, and they’re so deserving of this award,” said Paul Burton, the son of Ron Burton and chief development officer of the training village.

During remarks at the event, Rob Hale lauded the kids in the program — which looks to support and grow students’ physical fitness as well as their educational advancement and spiritual growth — saying he and his wife were honored to be there to support the participants, calling them leaders and encouraging them to follow their dreams and goals.

“Take the chance to be great,” he said. “Don’t let the fear of failure define you.”

He also encouraged the kids to “give a little bit of yourself,” and pass along their gifts to others.

At the event, held at the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, the Ron Burton Training Village also recognized seven students with four-year full tuition scholarships — three to Bentley University and four to Stonehill College.

Martin Carpio and Nathan Shaver of Bentley University pose for a photo with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. BANNER PHOTO

“This is about focusing on the kids and overcoming their struggles in life and highlighting the students,” Burton said of the scholarships.

The training village is named after Ron Burton, a football player on the then-Boston Patriots who felt overlooked as a child. The organization was started in response, with the goal to help kids, especially from the inner city, find greater purpose and direction in their lives.

Following the Ron Burton Humanitarian Award Dinner, the organization’s annual event recognizing its supporters and donors, Burton said the group is gearing up for its busiest season, welcoming children to its facility in Hubbardston, north of Worcester, with the goal of “developing the entire human being.”

“We’ll get ready to receive all the children throughout the spring and summer and fall out at the Village,” he said. “It’s now about pouring into the lives of young people with our mission, which is to train youth to achieve their purpose, fight life’s challenges, leadership, education, social advancement, physical wellness and spiritual growth.”

Ron Burton Humanitarian Award Dinner, Ron Burton Training Village