HomeTop StoriesPhiladelphia Visitor Center honors Brandon Graham and kicks off summer tourism season...

Philadelphia Visitor Center honors Brandon Graham and kicks off summer tourism season in Old City

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro helped kick off the tourism season with the Philadelphia Visitor Center Corporation on Monday during the first-ever Philly Opener spring celebration.

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham received a special honor at the event: MVP, or Most Valuable Philadelphian.

“I’m happy to be embraced by the city,” he said. “[Philadelphians] have that working class spirit about you that’s going to fight and never give up, so Philly fits everything I stand for.

Graham, a Detroit native who has lived in Philadelphia for fourteen years, was asked about his must-see spot in the city.

“Well, they should come here to the Independence Visitor Center and make sure they learn the history of the city…then you experience the people,” he said.

Graham, who helped reach the franchise’s only Super Bowl, has 73 sacks in a career-high 195 games with the Eagles. He is a popular player in the locker room and in the Community in Philadelphia.

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Travel and tourism are vital to Philadelphia’s economy and showcase the city’s unique culture and vibrant, diverse communities.

To share these stories, Wakisha Bailey of CBS News Philadelphia is teaming up with the Philadelphia Visitor Center and Visit Philadelphia for a new series called Spreading the Love. The series highlights extraordinary people making a remarkable impact in the city.

“This is an honest city, and it’s made up of good people,” Bailey said at the event. “How can I not go into all the communities and find the people spreading the love?”

“That’s exactly what we need right now,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Visitor Center. “Our mayor says we have a shortage of hope. And what CBS, the visitors center and Visit Philly are trying to do is fill that shortage with tremendous pride and love in our city.”

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