K.C. guard up for major award

Kansas City guard Brian Waters is being recognized for his immense charitable work.

The four-time Pro Bowl player is a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. The prestigious award recognizes a player’s off-field community service as well as his playing excellence. The other finalists are Washington linebacker London Fletcher and Cleveland wide receiver Mike Furrey. Waters was a finalist three years ago.

The winner will be announced prior to the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

This is a major award and it would be a huge honor for Waters to win it. Still, I caught up with him Wednesday night and he is simply happy to make to this far.

“Just to be a finalist and to have my name mentioned with this award is special,” Waters said. “If I win it, it would be great. But it is already great … My charitable work is special to me because it gives me a chance to help people through my work. We’re involved in lot of things and it is all very special to me and my family.”

Thanks to the Chiefs, below is some of the charitable work that led to Waters being a finalist for the Man of the Year award:

  • Brian and his wife, Yolanda, run all foundation activities and have no paid staff. He works closely throughout the year with more than 20 different agencies including: FCA, Habitat for Humanity, Promise House, Salvation Army, Special Olympics, Waxahachie Educational Foundation, Waxahachie YMCA and Waxahachie Pee Wee Football. In addition, he has served as spokesperson for NFL and Chiefs campaigns.

  • Provides school supplies for over 2,000 children annually, including: haircuts, dental screenings, immunizations, backpacks, supplies, shoes and uniforms.

  • To date, Brian has awarded 82 college scholarships.

  • Donated all funds to build Habitat for Humanity House.

  • Thanksgiving: Chairs the Chiefs Thanksgiving Food Distribution, donates baskets to more than 1,000 families. Sponsors Thanksgiving dinner for 500. Provides sweatshirts, stocking caps, and Thanksgiving dinner for 60 homeless youth. Supports United Believers Church distribution.

  • Christmas: Annually adopts more than 30 families for Christmas, personally shopping for each family, providing three toys and five outfits per child, a Christmas tree and lights for decorations. Hosts annual Salvation Army coat collection. Led Christmas Drive for Teenagers. Donates Christmas gifts to the Promise House and hosted a shopping spree for 50 youth.

  • Provides 10 Chiefs' season tickets and has provided more than 40 Cowboys' season tickets annually for youth incentives.

  • Sponsors after school program at YMCA, providing tutoring, snacks and safe activities. Financially supports annual events such as Festival of Trees, Brilliance, Waxahachie Education Golf Tournament, Project Safe Place, Pee Wee Football and Free Football and Basketball Camp for 300 children.

  • Hosts Special Olympics annual Punt, Pass, and Kick competition and annually funds and hosts "Appreciation/Fun Day/Health Fair" for entire Waxahachie community.