By Brittany Maroney
Photo by James Patrick
Kerry Reed grew up in the rough and tumble inner city of Miami. Raised by a single mom and surrounded by his numerous siblings, he quickly became the “man of the house” – the role model and protector. It was only when he was introduced to football that he was truly ever able to let loose.
“I fell in love with the game the moment an older cousin put that pigskin in my hand,” Reed says. “From that day, I dreamed of following in the footsteps of my favorite players and making it big some day.”
Reed, who played football at Michigan State University, happened to be one of the few who got selected for the NFL draft. He was a free agent for the Miami Dolphins and then went on to play for the Baltimore Ravens for one season.
Following his time in the NFL, he transitioned into the arena football realm, first playing for Canada’s BC Lions before being picked up by the Arizona Rattlers, where he has been indispensible since the 2011 season.
“I count myself lucky that I get to do what I love on a daily basis and make a living off of it,” he says. “I also get the opportunity to interact with fans and be the role model that I aspire to be.”
Tell us about the organizations you work with and why that’s important to you. I love working with the Boys & Girls Clubs because it’s an organization I remember growing up with. I love being able to interact with the kids and be an inspiration in their lives. I’m a big kid at heart, too, so it’s nice to spend time with them and let my inner kid out from time to time. Who are your role models? Jerry Rice has always inspired me. He’s a class act and always carries himself in a positive way – on and off the field. I also look up to Larry Fitzgerald. He’s a leader to his team, a mentor to aspiring athletes, community-driven and family-oriented. Overall, he’s a great representation of what athletes should be.
By Elizabeth Liberatore
Photo by Claudia Johnstone
As the charity director of Platform Scottsdale – a women’s group dedicated to connecting, promoting and inspiring women – Meredith Hawkins raises funds for local charities through the organization’s signature events.
“I love giving small, local, woman-run charities a platform to help promote them and enable them to help people through their organizations,” Hawkins says.
Hawkins’ passion for social work has been a constant throughout her life.
“I have always wanted to help those less fortunate, and the area of social work has given me the platform and access to opportunities to make a difference.”
In March 2012, her passion to help others ignited the creation of her own charity organization: Girls who Inspire, Volunteer and Empower (GIVE), a women’s volunteer group, made up of those looking to give back in the community.
“I started GIVE to create a volunteer calendar of events where those in our community can sign up for volunteer opportunities, making it easy, fun and impactful,” Hawkins says.
Truly, GIVE’s mission is evident in all that Hawkins does – making a difference in the lives of others through time, dedication, donations and unconditional love.
Why do you do what you do? I truly love what I do and will do this until the day I can’t anymore because, to me, there is nothing more fulfilling and more rewarding than helping others feel important, recognized, loved and that they matter and are not forgotten. Tell us a bit more about GIVE and how women can get involved. Our members choose special interest groups and organizations based on their interests and passions, and the group volunteers their time with those chosen organizations. Learn more at www.givegirls.com. What are some of your other hobbies? I love raising my 10-year-old son, Brayden, and our rescue dog, Eddie. I enjoy riding my horse, skiing in Utah, writing and all the fun things that Arizona has to offer.