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Philanthropic Myra Kraft Remembered For Her Generosity

FOXBORO (CBS) - Myra Kraft was concerned when her husband bought the Patriots in 1994 that it might interfere with her charity work, but it wound up giving her a powerful platform. The Kraft's have given away more than $100 million.

All of that money went to the needy, but it was Myra's hands-on approach that truly touched the lives of countless people. Last summer, she visited the Women's Lunch Place in Boston.

She didn't just drop off a check, executive director Sharon Reilly says she threw on an apron and served food at the shelter, "She didn't come with airs. She was down to earth. She was herself."

WBZ-TV's Diana Perez reports.

WBZ-TV traveled with her in 2006 when her work took her to Israel.

There, she told us of her dedication to help displaced Ethiopian Jews: "The biggest message is now matter who you are or where you live but to be able to give back."

Read: Steve Burton Reacts To Myra's Passing

And she did through the New England Patriots foundation, Brigham and Women's Hospital, United Way and Combined Jewish Philanthropies, to name a few. She also worked tirelessly as the first female chairperson for the Boys and Girls Club of Boston. There she pushed to expand its reach and broaden its services.

"What she did for the young people in our city, you couldn't put in numbers," says Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz spoke to officials at the Jordan Boys & Girls Club:


And she left her mark. The club's youth center is named after the Kraft family, and a picture of her and Robert hangs in its lobby. Still, those who loved and will miss her know nothing can fill the void.

"She was a small person in stature but she made a huge impact of the people that she touched," says John Davis Chair of the Board for the Boys and Girls Club of Boston.

Myra and Robert Kraft's last philanthropic act came earlier this year when they donated $20 million to Partners Healthcare so it can open the Kraft Family National Center for Leadership and Training in Community Health.

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