Congratulations, Drew Brees

Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, has more than just a Superbowl ring to be proud of. Brees, who led the Saints to their first Superbowl win, also secured a $100,000 grant for the city's Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge, a place for out-of-town cancer patients and caregivers to stay for free while they undergo treatment. The grant contest, which was sponsored by Pepsi's Refresh program, pitted Brees against two other NFL football stars raising money for their selected charities. More than half a million votes were cast by fans at www.nfl.com/partner?partnerType=refresh-project. While the other two charities received $25,000, the New Orleans Hope Lodge will be able to use the $100,000 first-place prize money to help fund ongoing services to patients and caregivers, including apartment-style housing complete with community-hosted dinners, laundry, library, and free transportation to local cancer centers. For more on ACS Hope Lodges and other accommodations for cancer patients, read CURE's Far From Home from the Fall 2008 issue.Brees chose the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge after touring the facility with his wife in November. (You can take a virtual tour here). The Superbowl champion also supports cancer research with his Brees Dream Foundation , an organization that works toward advancing cancer research and providing care, education, and opportunities for at-need children. Brees is considered a hero in New Orleans to many--and not just to football fans. Congratulations, Drew!