Wyckoff, NJ ~ The Leonidas Foundation is proud to announce the second recipient of its annual “Leader of the Year” Award. For the first time, the award will be given to a family – Aidan, Linda, Patrick, and Aidan Murray of Mahwah, NJ.
“This year’s selection truly embodies the principles of mind, body, and spirit that are at the core of our mission,” said Matthew Perricone, President of The Leonidas Foundation. “Each member of the Murray family had a deep personal impact on Leo’s life and helped to cultivate his own development as a young man.”
The award will be presented to Aidan, Linda, Patrick, and Aidan Murray at the second annual Leonidas Foundation Kickoff Event, to be held on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at The Waterside Restaurant in North Bergen, NJ.
Family patriarch Aidan Murray was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, where he grew up playing Gaelic football and soccer while honing his kicking skills. It was not until after he immigrated to the United States that he focused his skills and knowledge on American football, especially as his two sons entered middle and high school. Mr. Murray has coached kickers and punters at Don Bosco Prep for the past thirteen years and had a profound impact on Leo during their time together. Mr. Murray’s admiration for Leo’s work ethic and determination was critical in developing Leo into a college-level kicker.
Linda Murray enjoyed a career in publishing before returning to earn her teaching certification and has taught British Literature to students with learning needs at Don Bosco Prep since 2004. As one of Leo’s teachers, she remembers him as a diligent worker who embodied the Salesian charism. She took great pride in watching Leo and his fellow students have a breakthrough after struggling with a concept, and still enjoys these to this day.
Patrick Murray currently stars as a kicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League and served as a role model and inspiration for Leo in his own athletic pursuits. Patrick attended Don Bosco Prep and took on an active role as an alumnus to support Leo and his fellow Ironmen after graduation. Patrick continued his education at Fordham University, where he was a consensus all-American and made it to the NFL where he continues to play. Leo’s is one of four names Patrick writes on a piece of tape placed around his wrist before every game.
Aidan Murray handed the kicking and punting duties at Don Bosco Prep over to Leo when he graduated in 2012 prior to becoming a kicker at Rutgers University. He remembers the long practices working with Leo, pushing each other to perfect their craft. After serving as a mentor to Leo and spending four years as a member of the Scarlet Knights football program, Aidan graduated from Rutgers and now works in the HVAC industry.
Said Perricone of the honorees, “From Mrs. Murray’s role in working with Leo’s mind, to the Murray men’s impact on his athletic body of work, to the entire family’s generous spirit, I can think of no one more deserving to receive this award in 2018.”
For more information about The Leonidas Foundation – including ticket and event information for the upcoming Kickoff Cocktail Party event – please visit their website at www.LeoUniteUs.org.