Tom Brady obviously is loved throughout New England, but one local family always will have good memories of the New England Patriots quarterback after he helped them out in a huge way.
Tricia Tarantino lost her husband Ronald, an Auburn police officer, when he was killed during a routine traffic stop on May 22, 2016. But Brady was able to help out Tarentino and her three sons financially when he rallied the Patriots to add to a fundraiser that that eventually raised $86,000 for the Tarentinos.
“That immediate response shows where his heart is at, and that Ron’s death has made an impact on him as well,” Tricia Tarentino told the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe on Thursday. “Ron was just that kind of person. He had an amazing personality and wanted to reach out to help others. I think that’s why so many people have responded to this tragedy. It’s just a great loss.”
It all started when family friend Nicole Bjorkgren, whose husband knew Ron Tarentino since they were kids, approached Brady at a Best Buddies bike ride and told him about the fundraiser. Brady ended up donating a signed jersey that fetched $6,000 and prompted Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman to send a signed football, while tight end Rob Gronkowski donated a jersey, too.
The gesture meant even more to Tarentino because her sons, 21-year-old Ronald, 18-year-old Spenser and 15-year-old Kyle, have always been huge fans of Brady.
“They’ve grown up watching Tom Brady and looking up to him,” Tarentino told the Herald. “I can’t even tell you how great their response was. They were blown away. They were so excited. He is a role model that my boys will now, because they have that personal connection, will always look up to more than they already did.”
The donations from Brady and his teammates have made it so Tarentino has been able to help families in similar situations as hers, and now she’s getting a chance to thank Brady.
“It meant the world to my family and myself,” she said. “I know they don’t know us, but the fact that they did that to show support for another family in Massachusetts clearly shows they value family.”
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images