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Robert Kraft receives Medal of Excellence

Robert Kraft accepts the award with Tom Brady and Jerod Mayo at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

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Robert Kraft accepts the award with Tom Brady and Jerod Mayo at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft this week received the Medal of Excellence Award from Carnegie Hall at a benefit at New York’s Waldorf Astoria. Presented to the Pats poobah by former Citigroup CEO (and Carnegie Hall trustee) Sanford Weill, the award is in recognition of Kraft’s “leadership in business and philanthropy.” Pats QB Tom Brady, linebacker Jerod Mayo, nose tackle Vince Wilfork, and Pats Hall of Famer Andre Tippett all were at the event, as was Kraft’s companion, Ricki Lander. Before speaking, the team owner made a crack about Wilfork having the best arm on the Pats squad, at which point Vince, sitting in the audience, threw a football to Brady and one to Mayo. But the pass to Mayo went awry and hit the piano that was onstage. The instrument was not damaged and sounded just fine when surprise guest Elton John, a longtime Kraft friend, came out and played several songs, including “Tiny Dancer,” “Circle of Life,” and “Candle in the Wind.”

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