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Kyle Rudolph Nominated for NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

Kyle Rudolph '08 is the Minnesota Vikings' nominee for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. 


Kyle Rudolph's End Zone at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital officially opened in March 2018 after more than a year of fundraising ($1.6 million) by the Vikings tight end. This unique space, which was designed with input from patients, provides opportunities for patients and families to take their minds off treatments. Features include an indoor basketball hoop, a lounge, a small kitchen, a digital sports simulator, a sensory walk/area for patients on the autism spectrum and video game consoles. Kyle Rudolph's End Zone already has had more than 3,200 visits.


Not including 2018, Rudolph has attended a total of 24 Holiday Huddle events at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital during Octobers, Novembers and Decembers since his rookie season of 2011. This includes serving as the host of nine events in the past three years (as of the Man of the Year application deadline). Rudolph is again hosting Holiday Huddles this year. During these events, Rudolph and his teammates make lasting memories for patients and their families through fun activities in the lobby and Kyle Rudolph's End Zone. When patients are unable to join the group because of their medical condition, Rudolph makes individual visits to rooms. He has committed his time and efforts to supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association's "Muscle Team" since his 2011 rookie season. Rudolph connected with the Hennessey family early in the process and maintained the relationship as Luke has grown older. Rudolph, whose brother Casey survived pediatric cancer, has long supported the American Cancer Society and the NFL's Crucial Catch initiative. In addition to serving on the ACS athlete council, he encourages survivors and patients with a genuine optimism that helps lift people in challenging times.