AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The New England Patriots Foundation donated $5,000 to support New England Adventures, a non-profit organization that connects veterans and the wilderness.

Nathan Larabee of Becket was recognized with the Patriots Difference Maker of the Week Award for his dedication to New England Adventures, a non-profit organization that facilitates all expenses paid outdoor sporting events, therapeutic events, and activities for New England veterans, service members and their families.

Nathan is a disabled veteran who served in the United States Marines in Iraq. He began volunteering for New England Adventures six years ago, and has served as the non-profit president over the past three years. Nathan works with veterans in a relaxed, outdoor atmosphere to discuss any concerns from alcohol and drug abuse, family and financial concerns, mental health and more.

“When I returned from the Marines, I found myself having a hard time adjusting to civilian life and missed the camaraderie. There were a lot of sleepless nights and at the time as I was struggling with PTSD. I found peace in spending my free time outdoors.

I believe that spending time outdoors throughout the New England wilderness, being out on the water fishing, watching nature unfold in front of my eyes; it saved me. I learned about the therapeutic healing powers mother nature has to offer and I strive to extend this to current service members, veterans and their families.

This is not a job, it’s a foundational requirement to the mission of serving those who have served. A bonus is being able to help my fellow service members and veterans and to be involved in my passion at the same time.”

Nathan Larabee, volunteer at New England Adventures

A total of 17 volunteers will receive a $5,000 grant to support the nonprofit organizations for which they volunteer. During the virtual celebration, Robert Kraft made the surprise announcement that Richard Jacobs of South Dartmouth, was selected as the 2021 Patriots Difference Maker of the Year. As part of this recognition, Angel Flight Northeast will receive a $20,000 donation.

The Patriots Difference Maker of the Week Award winners were selected by their volunteer services for going above and beyond to support nonprofit organizations in our New England communities.

“This is the 11th consecutive year that we’ve celebrated volunteers with our Patriots Difference Maker of the Week Award,” said Robert Kraft. “It’s an opportunity to thank New Englanders who go above and beyond to improve their local communities. This year, we are honored to recognize 17 community heroes and the causes that they represent.”

2021 Patriots Difference Makers

  1. Maxwell Surprenant             Needham, MA           Catching Joy, Inc.                          Needham, MA
  2. Deborah Antanavica             Cherry Valley, MA      Deja New Leicester, Inc.                 Leicester, MA
  3. Anita Johnston                    Gorham, ME              My Place Teen Center                     Westbrook, ME
  4. Monica Brady-Myerov         Chestnut Hill, MA       Hospitality Homes                          Boston, MA
  5. Kenny Ouellette                   Burlington, MA          People Helping People                    Burlington, MA
  6. Nathan Persampieri             Newton, MA              Understanding Our Differences          Newton, MA
  7. Marc Cremer                       North Easton, MA      Haley Cremer Foundation                North Easton, MA
  8. Jennifer Caruso                   Lynnfield, MA            Swirls Around the World                  Lynnfield, MA
  9. William Buckley                   Bangor, ME               Challenger Learning Center             Bangor, ME
  10. Jean Larson                        Hamden, CT             A Place to Nourish Your Health         New Haven, CT
  11. Cindy Brenner                     New Haven, CT         Camp Rising Sun                           Branford, CT
  12. Tony Abreu                        Fall River, MA            Angels Anonymous                         Fall River, MA
  13. Phyllis Brooks                      Lexington, MA           English At Large                            Woburn, MA
  14. Richard Jacobs                    S. Dartmouth, MA      Angel Flight New England             North Andover, MA
  15. Phil Newth                          Bartlett, NH              Little Angels Service Dogs               Bartlett, NH
  16. Nancy Vitorino                    Attleboro Falls, MA     Foster Forward                             East Providence, RI
  17. Nathan Larabee                  Becket, MA               New England Adventures               Agawam, MA
Photo caption: Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Patriots Foundation president Josh Kraft and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett take a virtual group photo with the 2021 Patriots Difference Makers of the Week. (photo courtesy of New England Patriots).