ORCHARD PARK, NY – The Buffalo Bills today announced that WR James Hardy was selected as the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner.
The Ed Block Courage Award is presented to the Buffalo Bills player who exemplifies a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. The recipient symbolizes professionalism, great strength, dedication and serves as a community role model for others.
Hardy will take part in the 32nd annual national Ed Block Courage Awards Foundation ceremony on March 9, 2010 at Martin's West in Baltimore, MD and he will be honored with the 31 other award representatives from each NFL team.
Hardy suffered a torn knee ligament against the New York Jets on December 14, 2008 which cut short his rookie NFL season. In 2009, Hardy spent the first eight weeks of the season on the Reserve/PUP list. He then spent the next six weeks of the season on the 53-man roster; however he was listed as inactive. After a rigorous year-long rehabilitation process, Hardy returned the field on December 27th, 2009 when the Bills faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. In the fourth quarter, Hardy posted his first reception of the season for nine yards.
Off the field, Hardy has given a lot of his time to charitable endeavors in both the Buffalo community and his native hometown of Fort Wayne, IN. In 2008, Hardy along Bills S Donte Whitner volunteered their time Buffalo Bills United Way of Buffalo and Erie County Hometown Huddle at Southside Elementary School, participated in the announcement of 12,000 cans of Campbell's Chunky Soup courtesy of Buffalo Bills fans everywhere being donated to the Food Bank of WNY, and appeared at the Bills and American Red Cross Blood drive. Hardy also created the "Homework with Hardy" program with the United Way to support after school programs, encourage academic progress, and provide a safe learning environment.
In his hometown of Fort Wayne, IN, Hardy hosted the his first 3-on-3 basketball tournament on June 13, 2008 in honor of James Hardy Day. The community event included a cookout following the tournament in McMillen Park in Fort Wayne. Hardy also organizes turkey drives during Thanksgiving and toy drives during Christmas for the community in Fort Wayne.
The award is named for Ed Block, the former Head Athletic Trainer of the Baltimore Colts from 1954 through 1977 and continued to serve the team until his death in 1983. Block, a WWII veteran, cared for his player's physical health as well as for the well being of countless children. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation promotes the prevention of child abuse by raising awareness of the epidemic and assisting agencies that provide for the care and treatment of abused children in communities throughout the National Football League. The objective is coupled with the Foundation's commitment to celebrating players of inspiration in the NFL.