Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
Philanthropist and former New England Patriots’ All-Pro Matt Light will speak at the MMA Annual Meeting’s Friday night banquet on Jan. 18.
Protector of Tom Brady’s blindside for 10 seasons, the Pro Bowl left tackle now runs The Light Foundation, which provides youth with outdoor learning experiences to help instill the values of responsibility, accountability and hard work. Light’s foundation seeks to help young men become responsible members of their communities who can pass on the torch of leadership and achievement to their friends and families.
The foundation purchased and developed more than 400 acres of land in Ohio to create its Chenoweth Trails facility, where each summer it holds an outdoor leadership camp called Camp Vohokase.
A variety of programs are held at Chenoweth Trails, and the foundation works with other nonprofits to serve the needs of the community. The organization also provides academic scholarships to young student leaders in Ohio and New England.
All Sports United, a nonprofit organization, honored Light in 2014 with its Humanitarian Award for excellence in philanthropy. In 2008, Light earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President George W. Bush.
A starter in his rookie season in 2001, Light, 40, served as the anchor of an offensive line that over a decade helped the Patriots win seven division championships, four conference titles and three Super Bowls.
Named to the Associated Press All-Pro first team in 2007 and the AFC Pro Bowl team in 2006, 2007 and 2010, Light is one of only four Patriots offensive tackles to be named to the Pro Bowl since 1970, along with Patriots Hall of Famer Bruce Armstrong, Leon Gray and Brian Holloway.
Light accomplished all these things while dealing with the inflammatory bowel disorder Crohn’s disease. Only months after he earned his second Super Bowl ring in 2004, Light thought his football career might be over after doctors removed a 13-inch section of his intestines. He hadn’t eaten in a month and lost 50 pounds, he disclosed to Men’s Journal after his retirement.
“Having retired, and having the platform I have, it’s just a natural thing to be able to share my story with people,” he told the magazine. “If I can play professional sports and find a way to live with this disease, then you have some hope. Everybody battles it differently, but your mindset and staying positive are so important.”
Light was known as the Patriots’ resident prankster, having once filled Brady’s car with packing peanuts and removing the tires from quarterback Matt Cassel’s car and putting two of them in his locker. Even head coach Bill Belichick fell victim to Light, who hooked up a trick mouse to the coach’s computer that shocked the person who touched it. Light told NESN that Belichick shocked himself twice and lost a computer file, which led to a “lengthy meeting” between player and coach. That didn’t stop Light from pulling the same prank later on offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
Always comfortable in media interviews, Light had a short stint as an analyst at ESPN, for which he still contributes content from time to time.
Light and his wife, Susie, have two daughters and two sons. An Ohio native, Light and his family now live in Massachusetts.