It's not the first time and it certainly won't be the last.
Bills Pro Bowl punter Brian Moorman was one of the honorees at the National Federation for Just Communities (NFJC) Awards luncheon late last week. His numerous volunteer efforts in Western New York were recognized along with several other awardees who have made significant contributions to Buffalo's diverse community.
"It's always nice to be recognized," said Moorman. "But it's not why any of the people who were honored here do what we do in the community. I like to be recognized because it brings more awareness to the causes that we represent. And for me I hope that an event like this helps raise money for kids with pediatric cancer and life-threatening illnesses."
Moorman's PUNT Foundation helps to raise awareness and promote research in the hopes of finding a cure for pediatric cancer. He and his wife Amber make weekly visits during the season to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute to visit young patients.
The Bills' punter also is active with Carly's Club, the Rush for Reading and Kicking for the Cure programs and volunteers at the City Mission.
The honorees were categorized based on their community involvement and profession. Moorman, along with teammate London Fletcher-Baker, was recognized in the sports category.
"We're grateful for people like Brian who come here and play professional sports and find a place for the community in their hearts and make it part of their life," said Julie Coppola Cox, senior manager of corporate communications for National Fuel and NFJC Board Member. "We wanted to show that his efforts were recognized and that he and Amber make a world of difference."
"From the beginning I thought it was important to give back to the community that helps me," said Moorman who has been heavily involved in local causes since arriving in Buffalo in 2001. "It's something I had done when I was in college so I wanted to continue that here. I hope I continue to play here and live here and do work in the community."
The NFJC takes a full month to finalize the list of Community Leader honorees as the applicant process is very tedious.
"There's a selection committee at the NFJC that look throughout our community for people who make such an outstanding difference," said Coppola Cox. "Our biggest mission is fighting bias, bigotry and racism. And our honorees have done that in a variety of ways. Someone like Brian does that by offering an enormous amount of his time to people that are facing medical adversity without regard for what their economic or racial situation might be. Brian and his wife Amber are always around to help and they give back so much of themselves that he was a natural choice."
Moorman doesn't deny that his volunteer efforts have spread him and his wife a bit thin at times, but he feels it's a small sacrifice to make.
"We usually have something going on every night during the season," he said. "But it all pays off when you see smiles on kids' faces or see money get raised through some of your efforts. As long as you see the time that you put in make a difference it doesn't bother me one bit to be spread thin with all the causes we support. I focus on what I do on the field obviously, but what we do off the field is also important."