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New England Patriots Links 5/23/12 - Mesko 'Passionate' About Kids; Kraft Wants Welker, With Value

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<em>The only time Zoltan Mesko #14 doesn't punt is when it comes to cheering up young patients, even if it means making a fool of himself</em>.
The only time Zoltan Mesko #14 doesn't punt is when it comes to cheering up young patients, even if it means making a fool of himself.

Mike Rodak reports Zoltan Mesko is set to host 'ZoliOke', a fundraising event to support Boston Children's Hospital.

"I remember getting to Michigan my freshman year, and I needed some things to put on my application to get into the business school," Mesko told ESPNBoston.com in a recent interview. "I went and volunteered every Thursday night, and after a while I realized that this was not supposed to be a résumé builder after all, because I had fallen in love with putting smiles on kids' faces."

"I feel like there's a social responsibility there for us as athletes to bring smiles to peoples' faces and to do good in the community. Especially kids. When you see a five-year old hooked up to so many IVs and going through cancer treatment and all that, it just breaks your heart," Mesko said. "When you alleviate their struggle, even for a couple of hours in a day, your problems just melt away. It's something that I'm really passionate about, and I'm really glad that I took the initiative to continue the way I benefit this cause."

Jeff Howe reports Robert Kraft still says he wants Wes Welker to be a "Patriot for life."

"Well, we’d like to see him be a Patriot for life, but it takes two sides," Kraft said. "We’re just happy he’s back in the system (after signing the $9.5 million franchise tender). He’s a wonderful young man and a special guy. I think both sides would like to do a deal, but it requires intelligence and putting our team first."

"Anyone can say whatever they want," Kraft said. "He’s done a great job for us. We’re always trying to do whatever we can do to put our team in the best position to win. That means balancing a lot of things, understanding what the cap is, what the cap growth is, how things fit in the system, and we try to have values for every position and every player."

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