It is more common for Hall of Fame athletes to receive honors and accolades than give them. But tonight, those four Broncos honored in Canton's hallowed halls gather together to honor someone else.
That someone is Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, the 23rd recipient of the Mizel Institute's Community Enrichment Award, given annually to an individual who makes outstanding contributions to Denver communities
More than 2,000 are expected to attend the event, including a host of other Broncos alumni. Commissioner Roger Goodell visited Dove Valley today to personally congratulate Bowlen.
"Previous honorees have been remarkable individuals—distinctive in their accomplishments—professionally, civically and philanthropically," said Larry Mizel, founder of the Mizel Institute. "This year we pay tribute to a genuine leader in the sports industry and our community. Pat Bowlen has contributed substantially to enriching the lives of Coloradans along with football enthusiasts around the world. It is appropriate that we honor him for his profound and longstanding devotion to our community."
Owner of the Broncos since 1984, Bowlen is Chairman of the Board of Denver Broncos Charities, which has donated more than $25 million to charitable organizations in the Denver area since the inception of the fund over 20 years ago.
Some of the charities with which the Denver Broncos have worked under Bowlen include:
- Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver
- The NFL's Play 60 campaign
- Bonfils Blood Center
- HealthONE’s Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children
- Food Bank of the Rockies
- The United Way
- And many, many more...
Meanwhile, Mr. Bowlen has forged ahead with philanthropic work of his own.
- He has served as Honorary Chairman of the Colorado Special Olympics for 19 years
- He has served as Honorary Chairman of the Stadium Stampede (formerly the Colorado Family Classic) benefitting St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation for 28 years
- Mr. Bowlen has displayed leadership and participated in several other organizations, including University of Denver, Capuchin Friars, University of Northern Colorado, Rose Medical Center, American Ireland Fund, Irish Community Center, Hawaii Maritime Center, Alberta Bar Association, Law Society of Alberta and the Young Presidents’ Organization.
And all the while, the Broncos have remained a consistent force in the National Football League under Bowlen's reign.
It's good to take a moment and highlight some of the outstanding work the Broncos do outside of football. With $25 million in direct contributions over a 20-year period, and countless more in service, the Broncos' community efforts start at the top. Congratulations Mr. Bowlen, and thanks for serving Denver and this worldwide Broncos community.