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Broncos announce 2023 'Champions in the Community' award winners


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos announced their annual "Champions in the Community" awards on Friday, recognizing select players for their service and commitment to the community.  

Since Jan. 1, 2023, 94 different Broncos players completed more than 800 total service hours.

In addition to tackle Garett Bolles, the Denver Broncos nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, six players have been recognized for their work in the community.

Cornerback Pat Surtain II received the team's Community Impact Award for his dedication to youth and disadvantaged communities. He launched the Patrick Surtain II Foundation in 2023, which aims to level the playing field for underprivileged youth by ensuring the same access to opportunities as their suburban peers. He was awarded the NFLPA Week 14 Community MVP award after providing two high schools with grants to build Inspiration STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) rooms. He continues to support youth by collaborating with teammates to host events, including youth football camps.

The team's Community Ambassador Awards were presented to five players who were especially active in the community this year:

Center Lloyd Cushenberry III participated in more than 10 community events and spearheaded a community initiative in which he donated 300 winter coats to Eiber Elementary School in Lakewood, Colo.

Defensive lineman Elijah Garcia participated in over 50 percent of team community events in the regular season, making him one of the top three participants on the team. He hosted a two-day youth football camp ahead of the off-season program for youth ages 8-13.

Offensive lineman Will Sherman increased his regular season community involvement by over 65 percent from 2022 and participated in over half of the team's community events in the regular season.

Safety Justin Simmons, a three-time nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award and four-time Community Ambassador recipient, was active in the community nearly every week of the regular season. He participated in more than 40 community service opportunities, many of which focused on local youth. He provided grants to 10 girls' high school flag football teams to support program growth and led six sessions of the team's youth leadership program in partnership with RISE and the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club.

Quarterback Russell Wilson was involved in more than 20 community service events and made regular visits to local hospitals to provide support to individuals and families facing difficult times. Additionally, he partnered with CommonSpirit Health to distribute grants to 10 local organizations that share a passion for health equity, education, food security and social justice.

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