The NFL will hand out the 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year next February at the Super Bowl, and wide receiver Torrey Smith is the San Francisco 49ers nominee. Last year’s 49ers nominee was Anquan Boldin, who ended up winning the award. The award goes to, “the player who best exemplifies a commitment to philanthropy and community involvement.” Three finalists will be announced on January 22.
Smith was nominated for his extensive community work that starts with the Torrey Smith Family Fund. It is a non-profit based in Baltimore, “established to provide youth with the tools they need to identify, unleash, and reach their full potential.”
The 49ers offered this rundown of the Fund, as well as other work Smith has engaged in with various communities. Congrats to Torrey Smith on the nomination.
As part of the nonprofit’s efforts, the Torrey Smith Family Fund has activated on various programs including, but not limited to, hosting a Leadership, Education, Vision, Effort, Love (L.E.V.E.L.) Teen Summit, L.E.V.E.L. Up multisport and STEM Camp, school supply donations, Reading Oases, holiday events, annual celebrity basketball games, and open dialogue events with activists, educators, officers and community members to discuss issues facing young black males in Baltimore. In addition, in honor of Torrey’s late brother, Tevin Jones, the Torrey Smith Family Fund awards four annual college scholarships to high school seniors. During the 2016 offseason, Smith used his time and resources to help those affected by the contaminated water supply in Flint, MI. Smith is also an active participant of the 49ers Community Mondays events throughout the Bay Area community, including opportunities to thank military men and women for their service. He and his wife also “adopted” an entire shelter for women who are expecting or have recently given birth and are working on staying clean, sober and safe for their children.