Several Activities Set for NFL Community Tuesday

Larry Fitzgerald 2008 Play60 275Players across the NFL will spend their only day off participating in community service activities as part of “NFL Community Tuesdays.”

Several teams will host fundraising events in support of their local Courage Houses, facilities that help abused and at-risk children and families in crisis in NFL cities nationwide. Other teams will continue the NFL-United Way Hometown Huddle day of service campaign, with events designed to promote youth fitness as part of NFL PLAY 60.

Since Tuesday is the day off for most NFL players, it’s a great day for the players to get involved in the community. The NFL presents a round-up of what’s going on around the league this week:

Arizona Cardinals: Neil Rackers will spend time with children at a local Boys & Girls Club.

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons Dazzle & Dine event will treat breast cancer survivors to a day of pampering at a Jamison Shaw Hairdressers and a night of fine dining at Capital Grille with Falcons players and wives. The survivors and a guest will also be invited to attend the October 18 game. Falcons players will also visit a local elementary school to participate in a physical education class with the students as part of the Falcons PLAY 60 campaign.

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens will launch the 2009 Play 60 Challenge in partnership with the American Heart Association, middle school principals and physical education teachers, with the goal of helping local students become more active and healthy. Mark Clayton, Davon Drew, Ray Rice, Kelley Washington and Lardarius Webb will visit three local middle schools to kick off the six-week program.

Buffalo Bills: As part of the NFL-United Way Hometown Huddle, students from the local Closing the Gap program will work with staff and Bills players to rotate through stations geared towards health, fitness and nutrition. The stations will allow students to actively participate in fitness drills, cooking demonstrations and health education.

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers will provide 150-200 low-income children from the Boys & Girls Clubs with a VIP day of fitness and fun with Panthers players. Children will participate in the teams Fuel Up to Play 60 Kids Combine on the team’s practice field, receive a new pair of athletic shoes and learn about healthy eating choices.

Chicago Bears: The Bears and United Way of Lake County will support North Chicago High School by providing improvements to the school’s weight room and training room, as part of the NFL-United Way Hometown Huddle. This program will support the NFL PLAY 60, providing the high school students and members of the North Chicago community, with a safe area to be physically active.

Cincinnati Bengals: Antony Collins will spend time with a local football team, speaking about the importance of persistence. Chris Crocker will take part in a motivational workshop, encouraging middle school students and talking with them about the importance of education. Johnathan Joseph will honor students with strong academic performances as part of the Learning is Cool incentive program. Andrew Whitworth will read to students at a local elementary school and speak with them about respect and responsibility.

Cleveland Browns: Members of the Browns Women’s Organization (BWO) will be visiting Providence House, a crisis nursery. During the visit, BWO members will join kids in a Halloween Costume parade and lunch. Providence House is also the Cleveland Browns “Courage House”, a partnership that demonstrates a commitment to helping abused children, at-risk children and families in crisis in NFL cities throughout the nation. The Cleveland Browns were the 11th team to recognize a Courage House in 2000.

Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys employees will take part in a Dallas Race for the Cure event on October 17. Bradie James and former First Lady Laura Bush will serve as honorary chairs for the race.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos will host the 12th Annual Drive For Life—the largest single-day blood drive in Colorado—with partner Bonfils Blood Center at INVESCO Field at Mile High. Thirty Broncos players including Daniel Graham, Kyle Orton, Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil will be at the drive throughout the day to thank blood donors and sign autographs. Kenny Peterson, Casey Wiegmann and other players will donate blood at the event.

Detroit Lions: The Lions will host their annual benefit dinner for the team’s “Courage House,” HAVEN, a shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. The evening’s guest speaker will be ESPN’s Mike Tirico. During the event, the Ed Block Courage Award will be presented to Jeff Backus and the Ricky Sandoval Award will be presented to former Lion Mike Utley.

Green Bay Packers: On October 14, Bob Harlan will welcome teachers from EconomicsWisconsin to Lambeau Field. The organization is a charitable group whose mission is providing resources to teach students financial literacy and economic understanding. On October 15, Mark Lovat will speak with local Pop Warner football players and their parents about the importance of good sportsmanship and dedication, and participate in a question and answer session.

Kansas City Chiefs: As part of NFL-United Way Hometown Huddle, the Chiefs Rookie Club will spend time with children from Della Lamb to help kick off the Chiefs Sports Lab ‘in-school’ program. The program features hands-on activities and interactive computers for students and children. The Chiefs Sports Lab will open in the fall of 2010 at the New Arrowhead Stadium and is the first of its kind in the NFL.

Miami Dolphins: Players will visit children at the Acreage in West Palm Beach in the evening, speaking with local children and signing autographs. Dolphins Alumni will host two school assemblies in collaboration with Amigos for Kids at Westwood Heights Elementary School. The assembly is part of a four-week series impacting over 3500 children in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Each event focused on the Dol-Fit Kid message as part of NFL PLAY 60.

Minnesota Vikings: On October 12, Greg Lewis, Bryant McKinnie, Vinny Perretta Sage Rosenfels, Jamarca Sanford and John Sullivan will plant trees with students at a local school and encourage them to recycle and treat the environment with respect.

New England Patriots: Stephen Gostkowski will visit Pickering Middle School in Lynn, MA to join the NFL Network and Verizon in awarding a $50,000 grant to the school as a part Keep Gym in School, a program of NFL PLAY 60. Gostkowski will host a school-wide pep rally and then lead the students through athletic drills to celebrate Pickering’s gym refurbishment grant.

New Orleans Saints: The Saints will create an indoor fitness/activity room at the local NFL Youth Education Town as part of the NFL-United Way Hometown Huddle. The room will include Wii Consoles, Wii Fitness Bundles, new televisions, and accessories to accompany the Wii consoles. The children will be encouraged to get 60 minutes of physical activity using the games on the Wii.

New York Giants: Jeff Feagles, David Carr, and Lawrence Tynes will participate in a Punt Pass and Kick event with 100 children from Special Olympics of New Jersey. The morning of football activities on Giants Stadium field will be followed by a pizza party.

Oakland Raiders: Matt Shaughnessey and Desmond Bryant will help local high school football players improve their skills and techniques and will speak about the mental and physical skills needed to succeed in football. On October 13 and 15, the team will host Gatorade Junior Training Camps at local elementary schools.

Philadelphia Eagles: Stewart Bradley will speak locally about breast cancer awareness and promote the Eagles’ Tackling Breast Cancer campaign.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Willie Parker will serve as honorary chair for the third annual CASA Steelers Tailgate Party on October 12 at Heinz Field. The event gives attendees the chance to spend time with players and receive signed memorabilia. All proceeds from the event will benefit CASA of Allegheny County and their work to advocate for abused and neglected children in Pittsburgh. The following day, Steelers players will visit a Boys and Girls Club to host a PLAY 60 event with local youth.

Seattle Seahawks: From October 12-17, the Seahawks will participate in several community events. The Women’s Association will host a Football 101 workshop to benefit their local Susan G. Komen chapter and the Breast Cancer Sisterhood. Josh Wilson will be the honorary Chair of Vision House’s No Homeless Kids Luncheon. John Carlson and Craig Terrill will participate in Pro vs. GI Joe video game competition with troops stationed overseas. Marcus Trufant will host his annual Bowling & Billiard Classic benefiting several local charities. Travis Fisher will visit Laurelhurst Elementary School in Seattle to honor Teacher Pat Howard with the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Award.

St. Louis Rams: Rams players including Chris Long (honorary event captain), Keenan Burton, Clifton Ryan, James Laurinaitis and Daniel Fells will attend a local Taste of the NFL, a food and wine tasting charity event in which attendees sample specialty foods prepared by some of the finest restaurants in St. Louis, bid on unique items, meet the chefs and spend time with players. All proceeds benefit the St. Louis Area Foodbank and the St. Louis Sports Commission.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Buccaneers and Publix will host the second annual Halloween Celebration at the Lowry Park Zoo. The 2009 Buccaneers rookie class, cheerleaders and Captain Fear will join over 650 disadvantaged children for an evening of fun. Participating youth organizations include Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay and the YMCA. On October 16, the team will participate in the inaugural Bowl for Hope to benefit the Buccaneers’ “Courage House,” the House of Hope Tampa Bay. Fifty current and former players will join participants for a night of bowling to raise funds and awareness for the House of Hope.

Photo from Arizona Cardinals, 2008