Carolina Panthers Community Impact Player of the Year Award
2017 Carolina Panthers Community Impact Player of the Year
Greg with CEO, Inc.’s CEO Debby Millhouse
The Carolina Panthers Impact Player of the Year Award was created to honor a Carolina Panther player who has dedicated his time and talents to making a significant difference in the community. The Charlotte Touchdown Club wished to honor a player that exemplifies the principles of character, integrity, excellence, and teamwork by motivating and inspiring his teammates and others around him to accomplish more than they would have normally. It is our great pleasure to announce that the recipient of this award is #88 Greg Olsen.
Olsen was a first team All-ACC selection his junior year at the University of Miami. Olsen declared for the draft his junior year and the Chicago Bears drafted him as the 31st pick in first round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
On the field, Greg Olsen is one of the Carolina Panthers’ best receivers, even though he’s a tight end. In 2011, the Carolina Panthers acquired Greg Olsen in exchange for a 2012 third-round draft choice. Greg has continually outdone himself on the field by breaking the Panthers’ record for most receiving yards by a tight end in 2012 and then subsequently breaking his very own record in 2013, 2014, and 2015. A four-time team captain and three-time Pro Bowler, Olsen ranks in the top 10 all-time in receptions (625) and receiving yards (7,393) and is approaching the top 10 in receiving touchdowns (52) among NFL tight ends.
The inspiration for Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation began when Greg experienced the effects of cancer. Greg’s mother, Susan, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. She was always a dedicated mother and Greg fondly remembers looking up into the stands during his high school years and seeing his mother cheering him on. Susan is now a survivor and it was in her honor that Greg started the Receiving Hope branch of his R4R Foundation.
In early 2013, Olsen and his wife Kara created the HEARTest Yard Fund after a routine examination of their unborn son, T.J., revealed the infant had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a congenital defect marked by an underdeveloped left ventricle and aorta. The HEARTest Yard Fund is a family service program administered in conjunction with Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. The cutting-edge program provides families of babies affected by congenital heart disease with a multitude of services all at no cost to the families or hospital. The program provides about $25,000 – $30,000 worth of nursing care (approx. 460 hours) per family during the first six months of the baby’s life. Since its inception, the fund has distributed over $1 million in support.