By Mary Beard
Special to Stlouisrams.com
The St. Louis Rams Community Player of the Week is defensive end
William Hayes has proven himself to be a determined and valued member of the St. Louis Rams defensive line. During the 2012 season he recorded a career-high seven sacks. This year he picked up right where he left off making the first Rams sack of the season during their home opener, and continues to be a consistent defensive threat as the season progresses. But off the field, William is known for his generosity and willingness to lend a hand.
Each holiday season, the St. Louis Rams join the Urban League of St. Louis to distribute turkey dinners to local families in need. For the second year in a row, William has spearheaded a home delivery effort, where he and the rest of the defensive line made home deliveries, donning festive costumes and personally delivering hundreds of pounds of food.
William constantly gives his time to support team-wide initiatives. He came out to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation through the Celebrity Night of Wishes where he competed with his teammates to see who could raise the most ‘tip’ donations. He also played in Coach Fisher’s Celebrity Softball Game this summer which benefits five different local charities and he dined with fans at the 2013 Taste of the NFL benefitting the St. Louis Area Foodbank and the St. Louis Sports Commission.
This August, Hayes visited the St. Patrick Center to distribute $10,000 worth of back-to-school supplies to local families in need. The money to purchase the items was raised by a paintball tournament that Hayes hosted earlier this summer. The paintball tournament, which was held at Gateway Paintball Park, was a round-robin format featuring Hayes, several of his Rams teammates and 175 participants. Both the paintball tournament and the back-to-school distribution event are extensions of the Rams defensive linemen’s Sack Homelessness program, a season-long effort that results in a $1,000 contribution to the St. Patrick Center for each time the Rams defense sacks the opposing quarterback.
"William has a passion and vision that sets him apart," says Molly Higgins, Rams' vice president of corporate communications/civic affairs. "What's incredibly impressive about William is that he's not only doing his part to make a difference, he's also inspiring others to join him in his effort. In doing so, he's creating a domino effect of good work within the locker room that collectively can have a significant impact on others."
About the Rams Community Player of the Week
Each week during the 2013 season, the St. Louis Rams will select a player who has made a positive impact on the Greater St. Louis community, giving of himself off the field. Each honored Rams Community Player of the Week will receive a gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the Official Steak House of the St. Louis Rams.