<span>After several years of serving the community with educational programs in local schools, a dedication to visiting area hospitals and the creation of an offseason youth football camp, OT Jon Stinchcomb has been honored as the 2008 New Orleans Saints Walter Payton Man of the Year. The award – among the most prestigious in the NFL – is voted on by members of the media, Saints front office staff and local non-profit and business executives.
A sixth-year veteran, Stinchcomb has annually taken a lead role as Saints players branch out weekly into local hospitals. His efforts have centered around lengthy stays in the pediatric and chemotherapy wards at Children's Hospital of New Orleans and Ochsner Hospital.
He also spearheaded the creation of the "OL 4 NO" – Offensive Line For New Orleans – Youth Football Camp in the offseason. Free of charge, the camp was run by the entire offensive line for children from the New Orleans area. The group has also purchased 225 bicycles for Christmas and will distribute them to underprivileged children.
"Several of our players were considered for this award, and all were worthy candidates considering the impact they've made on our community," said Owner/Executive Vice President Rita Benson LeBlanc. "Jon has sought out ways he can make a difference, and with his approach and the way he connects to young people he has been an inspiration with each of his endeavors."
When not visiting hospitals, Stinchcomb can be found in local schools on Tuesdays. He is particularly dedicated to educational causes – his mother was a school teacher, he graduated from Georgia with a degree in microbiology. His wife, Allison, is a teacher in a local high school.
As part of the First Bank and Trust Character Now Program, he visits local high schools – stressing the importance of education, integrity, and building a good character – and as part of the Domino's Literacy Program he reads to children and drives home the importance of education at local elementary and middle schools.
Recently, Stinchcomb visited O. Perry Walker High School in New Orleans as part of Teach For America Week and gave biology students a lesson on reflexes. He spoke from experience, having had surgery on both knees during his football career. Teach For America is the national corps of top college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural schools across the country.
"Jon has concentrated on making his adopted hometown of New Orleans a better place," said Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis. "Tuesdays are his day off, but it's rare when he isn't out in the community. His character and sense of purpose make him a role model for young people. This is a responsibility he takes seriously, and this award is well deserved."
Stinchcomb is a native of Atlanta. He and his older brother, Matt – who like Jon attended the University of Georgia and was a standout offensive lineman in the NFL from 1999-2006 – have established the Stinchcomb Family Foundation. Proceeds from their events benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the Georgia Transplant Foundation, the Children's Tumor Foundation and the University of Georgia College of Education.
The Man of the Year award has been in existence since 1970 and honors NFL players who demonstrate outstanding balance in their lives between civic and professional responsibilities. All 32 finalists, one from each NFL team, will receive a $1,000 contribution toward a charity of his choice, and the overall winner will receive $25,000 to donate to his selected charity.
The 2008 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year winner will be announced during Commissioner Roger Goodell's press conference prior to Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa. The Stinchcomb Family Foundation has been designated as the charity that will receive the $1,000 donation in his name.