Commitment. Teamwork. Will. Character. Dedication. These are the character traits needed for the Heart of a Giant award—qualities Mahopac High School senior Charlie Burt has in spades. Burt was nominated for the award, sponsored by the Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants, because of his hard work, dedication and teamwork both on the field and off.
“Charlie inspires me as a coach,” said MHS Head Football Coach Mark Langella. “He has overcome so many obstacles in his life, but he never let it interfere with his success.
Burt, who was born without his left hand, said that he never let this get in his way. “My father had a football in my hand since I was four,” he said, “and I’ve always worked hard and loved the game.”
In addition to his hard work on the field and in the classroom, Burt, who plans to study chemical engineering and business in college, also finds time to do volunteer work. Aside from volunteering for Relay for Life, he organizes a baseball game each year, along with his mother, for special-needs children. “We always end with a barbecue afterward. It’s a great experience, and it feels good to give back,” he said.
As one of six finalists for the Heart of the Giant award, Burt has already earned a $1,500 equipment grant for his team. The grand-prize winner will receive an additional $3,500 equipment grant for his school and a trophy presented during the New York Giants home game on December 18.