Pittsburgh Steelers’ Punter Zoltan Mesko’s charitable efforts started at a young age, but while spending four years (2005-2009) at the University of Michigan, Mesko realized the need for help and making an impact within the community. While enrolled at Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, in his spare time he organized hospital visits for his fellow Wolverines at the University’s C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital. Mesko was a weekly guest at the hospital, making visits each Thursday during the academic year. “I remember almost 70 student-athletes visited Mott’s one night,” Zoltan says of his coordinated student-athlete hospital visits. Along with organizing hospital visits, Mesko volunteered at the football team’s Car Wash for Kids charity event at Michigan that raised money for the building of a new children’s hospital. His senior year, the University of Michigan recognized Mesko as a member of the 2009 Allstate Good Works Team for his off-the-field efforts in the local community.
While he has helped compete for championships on the field, Mesko has brought more than just athleticism with him into the NFL. Since his 2010 arrival in the league, Mesko has continued to be an outstanding volunteer, participating in a number of charitable events for various causes. He participated in nearly every New England Patriots Charitable Foundation community event during his time with the team. In the summer of 2012 Mesko launched The Zoltan Mesko Foundation, a nonprofit to provide financial support to organizations that foster the social, emotional, economic and physical well-being of children. Mesko and the Foundation have hosted an annual fundraiser, “Zolioke” a celebrity karaoke event with his teammates to raise funds and bring awareness to various children’s charities. In August of 2012, Mesko was awarded with the Ron Burton Community Service Award which is given to one Patriots’ player each year for their outstanding work in the community. In November of 2012 Boston Children’s Hospital awarded Mesko with the 2012 Champions Award, an award given to one Boston professional athlete each year for their off the field work of enriching the lives of children.
Mesko’s mission for the Zoltan Mesko Foundation is to give children and young adults the guidance, mentoring and assistance they need to improve the quality of their lives.