Baird has presented the Baird Community Involved Player of the Year Award to A.J. Hawk who is in his sixth season as a linebacker with the Green Bay Packers. Ahman Green, all-time leading rusher for the Packers who retired in 2011, and Steve Booth, Director of Investment Banking for Baird, presented the award to Hawk at the Wisconsin Sports Awards. The inaugural event, which was created to celebrate excellence in high school, college and professional sports in the state, was held May 10 at the Wisconsin Club in downtown Milwaukee.
Hawk demonstrates his commitment to the community by actively supporting a wide variety of causes. He serves as an official spokesperson for Special Olympics Wisconsin, a cause in which he takes a particular interest because his late aunt Kim Hawk was a Special Olympics athlete. In this role, he also attends the State Summer Games opening ceremony annually in Stevens Point, Wis. In recognition of his work with Special Olympics Wisconsin, Baird Foundation has donated $5,000 to the non-profit organization in Hawk’s name.
“A.J. has been a long-time supporter of Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes and we are honored he has chosen us as his charity of choice,” said Dennis Alldridge, President & CEO of Special Olympics Wisconsin. “These funds will allow us to provide sports training and competition opportunities to individuals in Wisconsin with intellectual disabilities.”
Additionally, Hawk recently cut and donated his trademark long hair, which he grew in 2005 as a tribute to the late Pat Tillman, the former NFL player who lost his life while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. Hawk has partnered with Wigs For Kids, which provides wigs to kids who lose their hair as a result of medical treatments, health conditions or burn accidents, to launch his own campaign called Hawk’s Locks for Kids to encourage similar donations from others.
Other programs Hawk helps support include the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer, Donald Driver Foundation, Greg Jennings Foundation, Al Harris Outreach Program, The 2nd & 7 Foundation, Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, and more. Green Bay is home to Hawk with his wife Laura and their daughter Lennon.
“Baird is pleased to recognize A.J. Hawk and all that he does to make a difference in the community,” said Jim Bell, Director of Baird Foundation. “This award aligns well with Baird’s culture and our long-standing tradition of giving back to the communities in which our associates live and work, and helping and encouraging others to do the same.”