Joe Ellis, Broncos to receive Community Enrichment Award

Jul 19, 2021, 11:20 AM
Joe Ellis...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — President & CEO Joe Ellis and the Denver Broncos have been selected to receive the prestigious Mizel Institute 2021 Community Enrichment Award, it was announced on Monday.

Ellis and the Broncos organization will be honored by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis in conjunction with the Colorado Remembers 9/11 20th Anniversary Commemoration and Tribute Concert that will take place at Empower Field at Mile High on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

“Joe Ellis’ leadership of the Denver Broncos and his passion for causes that promote health and wellness, youth development and civic engagement for Coloradoans make him genuinely deserving of the Mizel Institute Community Enrichment Award,” Polis said.

Ellis joins President of Football Operations John Elway (2017) and late Owner Pat Bowlen (2013) as Broncos recipients of the state’s most noteworthy philanthropic award that recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community and worked to significantly enhance the lives of others. When selecting honorees, the Mizel Institute takes into consideration an individual’s level of philanthropic support, impact on a cross-section of the community and demonstrated commitment to the ideals of both the Mizel Museum and the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (CELL).

“We are privileged to honor a leader and an organization that have indelibly shaped our community,” Mizel Institute Founder Larry A. Mizel said. “Joe Ellis and the Denver Broncos demonstrate, time and again, that their family and team extend to the city and state. This past year, we have seen the most challenging of times, and Joe and the Broncos have helped lead the way in healing and unifying our community.”

One of the largest community fundraisers in Colorado, the Mizel Institute Annual Dinner draws guests in the thousands, representing a wide array of community leaders in government, business, education and philanthropy. Funds raised from the event support its two centers, the Mizel Museum and the CELL, whose valuable programs empower individuals to become civically engaged in promoting social justice and enhancing public safety. Learn more at

Ellis has overseen the Broncos’ community outreach that has grown to include comprehensive programming in the areas of Youth Development, Quality of Life, Health & Wellness, Youth Football and Civic Engagement. The team’s community outreach has earned national recognition with back-to-back distinctions (2020-21) as 1-of-4 franchises in all of sports to be named a finalist for ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award.

On average, the Broncos annually give more than $1.5 million in the form of direct grants, programmatic offerings and events and in-kind support to the community.

In 2020—a year unlike any other—the Denver Broncos players and staff supported their community by:

– Volunteering more than 850 hours (including 230+ video/Zoom hours) through 744 different engagements
– Adding and expanding a series of social justice initiatives through the team’s Inspire Change program
– Contributing more than $1 million to COVID-19 relief efforts
– Being the only professional sports team to fully fund its own branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, giving 14,000+ under-resourced youth a home away from home since 2003
– Investing $300,000 in the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club’s renovations and reopening
– Supporting 35 local nonprofits via the club’s annual Community Grant Program
– Conducting the Staff Community Service Series, featuring in-person and remote monthly volunteer opportunities for Broncos staff and families


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Joe Ellis, Broncos to receive Community Enrichment Award