BC Lions’ wide receiver has soft hands, big heart

Surrey resident Marco Iannuzzi honoured by CFL for selfless giving

South Surrey’s Marco Iannuzzi holds the Tom Pate Memorial Award

SURREY — Marco Iannuzzi may be a professional receiver, but nothing is more important to him than being a world-class giver.

“Any time I can connect with someone and know that I either helped them directly or helped someone important to them, it’s super special,” said Iannuzzi, a South Surrey resident and wide receiver for the BC Lions.

Iannuzzi recently received the CFL’s Tom Pate Memorial Award, which is given each year to the CFL player who best represents sportsmanship, dedication to the league and community service.

“It’s special to my family and me primarily because the sacrifice and time,” he said. “Every time I go to an event I am taken away from my family. To be recognized is not what I am doing it for, but to see the community recognize the sacrifice and time I’ve put in means a lot to me, my wife and kids.”

During his six years with the Lions, Iannuzzi has proven himself to be a huge proponent of giving back to the community through hospital visits, speaking to kids at schools or football practices and donating to various charities.

During the off-season, he says he often attends four to five events per week and during the football season, one or two.

He does a lot of work for Multiple Sclerosis (his mother has been diagnosed with MS), autism and BC Children’s Hospital, to name a few.

“I can’t even imagine some of the difficulties these families go through with their children,” he told the Now on his way for a visit to BC Children’s Hospital.

“I just get that feeling in my gut – that’s why I do all these events.

“That’s what keeps me going – and giving.”

His parents taught him to give at an early age and now, as a father of three, the Harvard grad is working hard to pass down these same attributes and values.

“We have a rule in our house that if you get something new, like a birthday gift, you have to donate something else to charity. At some of our birthdays, our kids, instead of gifts, ask for a toonie from each of the people that show up so they can put it towards a charity donation.”

As for the Lions, he expects big things for next season.

“We had a special squad this year, so it’s disappointing we didn’t go all the way,” Iannuzzi said. “But we did more than most thought we would so it was a good growth year for the organization.”

Iannuzzi joins Tyrone Crews (1986), Matt Dunigan (1989) Danny Barrett (1992), current director of community relations Jamie Taras (1999), Steve Hardin (2003) and defensive co-ordinator Mark Washington (2006) as members of the Lions to win the award.

beau.simpson@thenownewspaper.com

 

Just Posted

Surrey kidnapping suspect still at large

Meaz Nour-Eldin is wanted in a 15-month-old Surrey kidnapping and assault case

Surrey MLA says EHT tax causing police funding cuts

Marvin Hunt says Employer Health Tax is ‘hammering’ schools, hospitals, law enforcement

Car dash covered in papers not an excuse for speeding, Delta police warn

After pulling driver over for speeding, police found his speedometer blocked by a stack of papers

Vancouver police officer from Surrey charged with sexual assault

Jagraj Roger Berar, 51, of Surrey, charged in incident alleged to have happened in Whistler

Help Delta Heritage Society learn more about items in its collection

DHS is reviewing its collection to prepare for the opening of the new Delta Cultural Centre

VIDEO: B.C. man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Grand Forks residents protest on bridge to call for ‘fair’ compensation after 2018 floods

Demonstrators also criticized how long it has taken to be offered land deals

B.C. taxi drivers no longer exempt from wearing a seatbelt

Before, taxi drivers were allowed to forego a seatbelt when driving under 70 kilometres an hour

B.C. woman seeks return of jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was stolen from a storage locker

CN Rail confirms job cuts as weakening economy cuts into freight volumes

Railroad also said it was affected by a slowdown in the B.C.’s forestry sector

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

New case of vaping-related illness in Quebec brings national total to 8

Quebec health minister considering tightening the rules around vaping products

Greens to vote against Liberal throne speech unless carbon targets toughened: May

Green leader Elizabeth May and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Friday, discussing common ground

Toxic smell returns to Abbotsford elementary school raising health concerns for students, teachers and parents

King Traditional Elementary suffers daily from neighbouring waste-storage facility’s stench

Most Read

l -->