September 12, 2010; Source: Boston Herald | How would you like to be paid $96,000 for a little volunteer time?

When Tom Brady, celebrated New England Patriots quarterback, was involved in a car accident last week, the fact emerged that the S8 he was driving had been loaned to him by Audi, apparently in celebration of his voluntary activities with Best Buddies, a local charity that “provides friendship and jobs to disabled people.”

Brady has been “honorary” (doesn’t that mean he doesn’t do much?) chairperson of the charity for three years. Priced at more than $96,000, the Audi is the third he has been provided with over three years. Audi also loans two other free cars to the charity itself and one of those is driven by the director Anthony Kennedy Shriver . . . yes, one of those Shrivers.

We can probably safely assume that this Shriver does not need a donated car either. The whole mess has raised some questions from annoyed non-millionaires about the perks of charitable involvement by local celebrities here in Boston. Presumably Brady who has just won a $72 million dollar four year extension on his contract needs the car less than, say, a low-income family of a disabled person.

You might even, as one caller to a local radio show posited yesterday morning, be able to buy a couple of vans for some agency serving disabled people with that cash. It’s just a little creepy feeling. Brady isn’t the only Patriot getting an Audi through the charitable partnership: In 2008, the company gave linemen Matt Light, Stephen Neal, Dan Koppen, Logan Mankins, and Nick Kaczur new Audi Q7 SUV’s for six months. Here is a little commentary on the deal from local blog, Selfish Giving.—Ruth McCambridge