Toronto, Ontario, Canada – December 10, 2012: Brian Bratton, a 2000 Lakeside High graduate and 2011 Furman University Hall of Fame inductee, was honored by the Canadian Football League when he was given the 2012 Tom Pate Memorial Award in Toronto during the annual Grey Cup Championship festivities.
Each year, the league’s Player’s Association recognizes the valuable work done by a player both on and off the football field. Like the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the Tom Pate Memorial Award is given to a player who distinguishes himself from among his peers by demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship and making significant contributions to his community and association.
Furman University President Emeritus, David Shi said of Bratton, “Brian is very bright and conscientious, energetic and determined. Obviously, he is an extraordinary athlete, but he is an even more extraordinary person.” His contributions to the community both here in the Greenville area and in the city of Montreal have set him apart from his peers.
Bratton, a wide receiver for the Montreal Alouettes, is in his sixth season with the organization and has been involved in numerous community outreach efforts. During this season in Montreal, he made a point of spending time with sick young people in the children’s hospital. He also helped serve meals to the homeless at the Welcome Hall Mission.
In Greenville, Brian provides incredible learning experiences for youth through his annual football academy. Quenton Tompkins, Executive Director of the Salvation Army Kroc Center had this to say of Bratton, “The community is still singing (Brian’s) praises for (his) willingness to provide such a quality clinic and combine for our youth.”
In addition to his own clinic, Bratton volunteers his time at Lead Academy where he mentors middle school students. He also is very involved in his church where he volunteers with OperationGO! a program that focuses on reaching at-risk youth. Brian finds participation with Holiday Hope to be one of the most rewarding events for which he volunteers each year. His church, along with the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program, provides Christmas presents and meals to families that are having a financially difficult time. Each year, the program provides toys to more than 1,000 children.