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Philadelphia Visitor Center honors Brandon Graham, kicks off summer tourism season in Old City

Eagles' Brandon Graham honored as Philadelphia kicks off summer tourism season
Eagles' Brandon Graham honored as Philadelphia kicks off summer tourism season 02:17

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro helped kick off tourism season Monday with Philadelphia Visitor Center Corporation at the first-ever Philly Opener spring celebration.

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham received a special honor during the event – MVP, or Most Valuable Philadelphian. 

"I'm happy to be embraced by the city," he said. "[Philadelphians] have that blue-collar spirit about you that's going to go fight and never give up, so Philly fits everything that I'm all about."

Graham, a Detroit native who has been in Philadelphia for 14 years, was asked for his must-see spot in the city. 

"Well, they should come here to the Independence Visitor Center and make sure they get the history of the city … then you experience the people," he said.

Graham, who helped clinch the franchise's only Super Bowl, has 73 sacks in a record 195 career games with the Eagles. He is a popular player in the locker room and in the Philadelphia community.

Travel and tourism are vital to Philadelphia's economy and showcase the city's unique culture and vibrant, diverse communities. 

To share these stories, CBS Philadelphia is partnering with the Philadelphia Visitor Center and Visit Philly for a new series called Spreading the Love. It will highlight extraordinary people making a remarkable impact in the city. 

"This is an honest city, and it's made up of good people," CBS News Philadelphia reporter Wakisha Bailey said at the event. "How can I not go into all of the communities and find the people who are spreading the love?" 

"That's exactly what we need right now," Kathryn Ott Lovell, president and CEO of Philadelphia Visitor Center, said. "Our mayor says we have a hope deficit. And what CBS, the Visitor Center, and Visit Philly are trying to do is fill that deficit with tremendous pride and love in our city."

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