If you’re like me, you loved how the Patriots wore the MHK patches on their uniforms last season to honor Myra Hiatt Kraft, the wife of owner Robert Kraft, after her passing away. She was such a huge part of not only the team, but the community around her. She chaired the boards of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston so she could serve others that were less fortunate, which was her passion. She was so deeply dedicated to the service of others, that her biggest concern when her husband Robert purchased the Patriots in 1994 was that the large amount of money spent and borrowed would cut into their charitable givings. Myra Kraft received many recognitions for her charitable work including a Camille O. Cosby World of Children Award. She, along with her husband, also funded the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center and the Kraft Family professorship at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In addition, the Kraft family funded a community oncology and disparities outreach program, and supported research on women’s cancers. Perhaps more important than her funding these organizations was her dedicated labor and service for others.
“It’s easy to write a check,” Kraft told the Globe in 2007. “But this is what I look at as what my occupation is. I don’t know how to play bridge, nor do I want to learn how to play bridge. This is what I do.”
To some Patriots fans, Myra was just the wife of the owner, Robert. But to the dedicated fans, who saw her at every game with her husband and knew of her numerous contributions to her community and those less fortunate, she was an inspiration and a true symbol of the team. I believe the “Patriot Way” originated with her humble attitude and grew into the mantra of the franchise. Every time a Patriots player scored a touchdown and celebrated by pointing at the MHK patch, it touched my heart and made me feel like this was more than just a football team, but a close family who had lost a dear member.
“I used to give Myra Kraft a kiss before every game,’’ said Vince Wilfork. “Now, he [Robert Kraft] gets two kisses – one for him and one for Mrs. Kraft. I always do it, before every game.’’
Just as her legacy of kindness will remain in the hearts of the New England community, so too should the MHK patches remain on the uniforms of her team.