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NFL and United Way Celebrate Youth Health and Wellness with League-wide Day of Service

NFL and Teams Participate in 18th Annual NFL-United Way Hometown Huddle Day of Service

2016 Marks 43rd Year of NFL-United Way Partnership

ALEXANDRIA, VA (Oct. 17, 2016) - On October 18, the NFL and United Way are teaming for the 18th annual Hometown Huddle, a league-wide day of service during which NFL coaches, players and executives help members of their communities PLAY 60. From building fitness zones and playgrounds to hosting youth football clinics, all 32 NFL teams will help kids to get active for 60 minutes a day as part of NFL PLAY 60, the league’s youth health and wellness campaign.

Now in its 43rd year, the NFL-United Way partnership connects NFL PLAY 60 with United Way’s goal to get more young people healthy and active. United Way, which is established in more than 1,200 communities across America, is creating healthier communities by increasing access to nutritious foods, creating more opportunities for physical exercise and play, as well as raising awareness about the benefits of living healthier lifestyles.

“We’re very proud of our longstanding partnership with United Way and the ways it continues to positively impact our youngest fans,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson. “Through platforms like Hometown Huddle, we’re able to encourage more youth across the country to PLAY 60 and live a healthy lifestyle.”

“We all win when we live united and our longtime partnership with the NFL is a great example of the good that comes when we work together towards a common goal,” said United Way Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Gallagher. “By forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems and mobilizing the best resources, we’ve brought fun fitness programs to more than 35,000 kids across the nation.”

Below is a snapshot of how the 32 NFL teams are working with United Way to celebrate Hometown Huddle. New York-based NFL employees will join volunteers from United Way of New York City at East Success Gardens Park and Brooklyn Gardens Elementary today to help transform outdoor learning spaces and host a PLAY 60 clinic. NFL employees in Culver City, Calif. will lead a PLAY 60 clinic and deliver health and wellness kits to a local school.

The NFL and United Way invite fans to show how they lead healthy and active lifestyles by tagging @NFLPLAY60 and using the hashtag #HometownHuddle in images on social media channels. Photos will be featured on unitedway.org/play60. 

NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations to increase physical activity among youth. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. All 32 clubs incorporate PLAY 60 locally by hosting thousands of events annually.

To learn more about NFL-United Way partnership or NFL PLAY 60 visit unitedway.org/play60 and NFLRUSH.com/play60 or follow @UnitedWay and @NFLPLAY60 on Twitter.

Arizona Cardinals

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the Cardinals’ Hometown Huddle event will feature the building of the Community Garden for House of Helps in South Phoenix. The event will encourage Phoenix youth and families to get active for 60 minutes a day, and the food grown in the Garden will feed the South Phoenix Community. Cardinals’ ownership, coaches, players, and front office staff will participate in the building of the Community Garden along with providing football-themed activities in support of NFL PLAY 60. 

Atlanta Falcons

On Tuesday, Oct. 4 the Falcons and United Way engaged the community at 12 different locations throughout Atlanta for Hometown Huddle. Groups of current and Falcons alumni players, Falcons Women’s Association members and United Way volunteers visited the various locations. The community service engagements included the Atlanta Falcons reading to students, hosting a PLAY 60 camp, surprising teachers in appreciation, serving food at a homeless shelter, delivering meals to senior citizens and visiting local children’s hospitals. ARTHUR BLANK, Atlanta Falcons’ owner and chairman, and RICH McKAY, president and CEO, also participated in the events.

Baltimore Ravens

On Monday, Oct. 17, the Ravens will host their fifth annual Ravens TEAM Challenge at Under Armour’s Banner Field in Baltimore City. Players will serve as team captains to the eight different youth teams: Relentless, Courage, Victory, Triumph, Conquer, Intensity, Loyalty and United. Ravens staff and members of the Lady Ravens, which comprises of coaches and players' wives, will volunteer alongside staff from the United Way, M&T Bank and Under Armour. Under the guidance of Playworks Maryland, fourth and fifth grade students from Dr. Carter G. Woodson and George Washington Elementary schools will participate in challenges such as kickball, dodgeball, ultimate football and a series of relays. At the end of the event, one team will be declared TEAM Challenge champions, based upon total points accumulated. In addition, each student will receive a new pair of sneakers, provided by Under Armour.

Buffalo Bills

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Bills will partner with United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and American Dairy Association and Dairy Council to host a visit to a local dairy farm with 40 local students from a local school involved in the Fuel Up to Play 60 Farm to School Grant Program. The dairy farm visit will feature two interactive stations where the students and Bills players will have the opportunity to feed calves, milk a cow, and conclude with a healthy lunch.

Carolina Panthers

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, in celebration of Hometown Huddle, the Panthers partnered with the Southeast Dairy Association and the United Way of Central Carolinas to host a Day of Play at a local elementary school. Over 500 students will participate in football drills and activity stations with Panthers players, dairy farmers and United Way volunteers. The team will also award $30,000 in PLAY 60 grants to schools and youth service organizations across North and South Carolina to support a variety of youth health and wellness programs including playground refurbishments, purchase of physical education equipment or interactive fitness installations.

Chicago Bears

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Bears teamed with the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, Bears Care and PNC for their Hometown Huddle event. The Bears and Bears Care contributed $40,000 to help complete a play space for El Valor, a multicultural, multipurpose organization that provides an array of inclusive, holistic services to more than 4,000 children, families, and adults with disabilities annually. Features of the new play space include new ADA accessible play structures, an outdoor classroom and a small turf-field.  Bears’ rookies and alumni will help finish the project and present a check. In addition, Bears Care awarded El Valor a $50,000 grant to assist them in providing inclusive, holistic health and wellness education and activities to children and their families who receive services from the center.

Cincinnati Bengals

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Bengals will install a Challenge Course with artificial turf-flooring for all ages at the Ryan Sports Complex in Westwood, OH. The new concept of outdoor fitness will be the first such installation in the state of Ohio. Along with the Challenge Course, the Bengals will also install the following:

New playground structure for all ages:

  • Incorporate four accessible fitness equipment structures around the existing walking track
  • Provide new basketball hoops, nets and repaint the basketball posts at Gamble Montessori School
  • Improve Gamble Montessori’s garden, where students grow fruits and vegetables and teachers are able to utilize the garden as a teaching tool
  • Beautify the space with landscaping and hand painted bench seating

Cleveland Browns

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Browns and United Way of Greater Cleveland will team to build a new playground, to include ADA features, plus equipment to meet the ability of pre-K students at a local Cleveland school. The new playground is part of an overall space transformation, as volunteers will also refurbish the existing play space. Projects will include, painting, prepping space for new rubber surface installation, adding slides, new swings, benches and a colorful mural. At Luis Munoz Martin School, volunteers will help install the new playground that will include a double slide, climbing ramp with cable, step climber, clover climber, rock climber, three stepping pods, hand-over-hand ladder, two decks and an ADA transfer position. Art murals will be painted in addition to resurfacing the basketball court, adding new benches, picnic tables and B.R.O.W.N.S. bike racks. In support of NFL PLAY 60, nearly 100 volunteers and Browns players will join together through the Browns First and Ten volunteer movement for this project that will be enjoyed by hundreds of students and families in the inner city.

Dallas Cowboys

On Oct. 31, EverFi, the Dallas Cowboys, United Way of Metro Dallas (UWMD), and United Way of Tarrant County (UWTC) will launch Character Playbook, a new digital initiative that educates students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years.  As part of the launch, the Cowboys, UWMD and UWTC will visit two schools: Staley Middle School in Frisco Independent School District and Workman Junior High School in Arlington Independent School District. The events will feature the Cowboys’ Rookie Club as well as other special guests like mascot Rowdy. In both events, Cowboys players will engage with students as they leverage the new digital course in a computer lab setting, and then in a larger school assembly setting.

Denver Broncos

On Monday, Oct. 3, the Broncos hosted more than 300 kids from all branches of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver at the club’s UCHealth Training Facility for a PLAY 60 event. Broncos players assisted with PLAY 60 activity stations, and all kids in attendance received a healthy dinner at the conclusion of the event.

Detroit Lions

The Lions brought 30 students from the city of Detroit to the Detroit Eastern Market to participate in PLAY 60 activities with Playworks Detroit, Lions players and Legends on September 27. There was a Q&A with the players, a tour and a shopping experience in the market. Students also enjoyed a healthy lunch and heard from Lions Executive Chef Joe Nader about nutrition. 

Green Bay Packers 

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Packers’ players and employees, volunteers from the United Way of Brown and Door County, along with representatives of the City of Algoma, will refurbish the grounds at Peterson Park with a warming shelter, benches and a final grade to a new ice skating rink. Students from Algoma High School’s Wolf Tech program have been designing the warming shelter and pre-fabricating various panels and elements. The ice skating rink will enhance Peterson Park’s winter activities to encourage kids and the community to get out and be active in the colder months of Wisconsin.

Houston Texans 

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Texans are partnering with the Houston Texans YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, and the United Way of Greater Houston for a Hometown Huddle community service event at the Houston Zoo. The Texans will host 50 children for a fun-filled day of PLAY 60 activities and learning in the Houston Texans Enrichment Zone, created with a $300,000 gift from the Houston Texans Foundation to the zoo. The kids will enjoy breakfast and a performance of an animal and football-themed educational show TORO’s Training Camp. Following the show, the kids will participate in a PLAY 60 scavenger hunt around the zoo. At each station, a member of the Texans rookie class will greet them. The kids will learn a fun fact about the player and an animal, and then do a PLAY 60 activity such as jumping jacks, jump rope, push-ups or hula hooping. Houston Texans Cheerleaders and United Way volunteers will help each group as they make their way around the zoo.

Indianapolis Colts

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Colts and United Way of Central Indiana will team up with Indiana Wesleyan University to renovate a fitness room at the Finish Line Boys & Girls Club. The Colts-themed fitness room will be used by hundreds of youth each week, providing them with a fun and safe place to be active indoors. The room is now painted to resemble a Colts locker room and features new fitness equipment, three fitness stations and Colts memorabilia. Colts Long Snapper, MATT OVERTON, will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the new fitness room as part of the team’s Hometown Huddle event.

Jacksonville Jaguars

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Jaguars and United Way of Northeast Florida will join together to make an impact in the New Town community. Community service projects will focus on healthy living among children and their families while also providing food resources to benefit the entire community. Projects will support the STEM Young Farmers club and promote parent and community involvement.

Kansas City Chiefs

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Chiefs and United Way of Greater Kansas City will host the 11th annual Chiefs TeamSmile event from the Scout Investments Club Level inside Arrowhead Stadium. The goal of this outreach initiative, held as part of Kansas City Oral Health Care Day, is to promote dental wellbeing and services for area children. Over 300 Title I eligible youth are invited to participate in this initiative, with attendees receiving dental screenings, education and select procedures. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in PLAY 60 activity stations and receive life-skills’ education. This event provides complementary dental services totaling more than $125,000. Chiefs’ punter, DUSTIN COLQUITT, will serve as the event’s spokesperson for the 10th consecutive season. He will be joined on-site by numerous teammates, including fellow specialists, as well as Chiefs Cheerleaders, Kansas City Ambassadors, and KC Wolf—the mascot.

Los Angeles Rams

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Rams will host a PLAY 60 event for children in London. Later in the season, the team will partner with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to host a special Hometown Huddle for children from Heart of Los Angeles, a non-profit dedicated to giving some of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable youth a chance to succeed in life.  

Miami Dolphins

In honor of Hometown Huddle, the Miami Dolphins, in partnership with United Way and PACER, will host a Dolphins Blitz at Bob Graham Education Center on Oct. 18. Kids will participate in several fitness-oriented stations and learn the benefits of hydration and staying physically active during a Fins Frenzy event. At the assembly, Miami Dolphins alumni TWAN RUSSELL will highlight the importance of education, physical fitness, and positive choices, while mascot T.D. entertains the kids. In honor of UNITY day, there will be a UNITY station where kids will pledge against bullying and create crafts using positive words. Current and former players, the mascot and cheerleaders will be present at the event.

Minnesota Vikings

On Oct. 18, the Vikings will host a PLAY 60 and Life Clinic in their field house with various United Way youth agencies. Current and former players will be present to run PLAY 60 drills and teach the youth about the important of lifelong physical activity and character development. Each child will receive a Fit Kit from the Greater Twin Cities United Way.

New England Patriots

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Kraft family and New England Patriots’ Charitable Foundation are teaming with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley for their annual Hometown Huddle event. The Patriots and the United Way have selected the Greenwood Elementary School in Dorchester, Mass. as the lucky recipients of a $5,000 grant to support renovations for their playground. Patriots’ players will visit the school to present the grant and will speak to students about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. After the assembly, the players will head outside to assist with landscaping and lead exercise stations for students around the playground.

New Orleans Saints

On Oct. 18, the Saints will create and enhance two areas of the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope in New Orleans, LA, which provides a hot meal and overnight lodging for single adults, families, seniors and the disabled who have no other option for safe shelter. It houses more than 50 children and their families at one time who greatly appreciate the opportunity to have an exercise/recreation space in the facility. One area will be transformed into an indoor Youth Fitness Zone with Saints-branded hydraulic fitness machines, water rowers, treadmills, and aerodynamic bikes. Also provided will be a new television, XBOX with Kinect, gaming console, and fitness-inspired video games. The second room will be a creative arts room with a laptop station along with other educational software and board games. Both rooms will be revitalized with Saints décor and furnishings. Saints players, Saintsations, and staff will be in attendance to help engage the youth in their new fitness zone and creative arts room and to teach them how to use the equipment properly. The kids will also enjoy taking part in Saints Junior Training Camp drills with the team mascot.

New York Giants

On Monday, Oct. 17, New York Giants punter BRAD WING and offensive tackle ADAM GETTIS will lead a group from the Giants for a Hometown Huddle event at the Norman A. Bleshman Regional Day School in Paramus, N.J. The group will participate in a day of play and unveil two new therapy bikes. The school serves severely, multiple disabled students ages three to twenty one, and participated in the Giants PLAY 60 Challenge earlier in the Spring. Also on Monday, cornerbacks DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE and JANORIS JENKINS will participate in the NFL League Office’s Hometown Huddle event at Brooklyn Gardens Elementary in Brooklyn, N.Y. Later in the month, numerous members of the Giants will visit the Meadowlands YMCA to help install new playground equipment as part of a new community facility that will include the Mara Family Day Care Center, which will provide affordable, quality childcare and preschool education for working families.

New York Jets

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the Jets, United Way of Northern New Jersey and NRG will team up to contribute $75,000 to install four multi-purpose game courts at four schools in the Bound Brook School District. The Jets 2016 Rookie Class will put the finishing touches on one of the courts and participate in multiple games with students.

Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders will invite students from Garfield Elementary School in Oakland to take part in their First & Goal program which recognizes youth for their hard work, dedication to excel in academics and for the positive impact they’re making in the community. First & Goal provides students and school administrators the opportunity to attend a regular season home game at no cost. Students will receive free transportation to and from the game, a game ticket, lunch, and a unique pre-game chalk talk with special guests. 

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles organization, in conjunction with United Way, will present ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships with a $5,000 check and support their kick-off of their Chess and Scrabble after-school program season on Oct. 24. Eagles players will also be in attendance.

Pittsburgh Steelers

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Steelers will team with United Way of Allegheny County to exercise with students. Players, including United Way spokesman DE CAMERON HEYWARD and the 2016 Rookies, will surprise students at a local Pittsburgh school. These students will have a chance to exercise alongside the players while learning to incorporate the importance of health and wellness their plans for success.

San Diego Chargers

On Oct. 18, the Chargers will host a special PLAY 60 Jr. Chargers Camp at Challenger Middle School as part of Hometown Huddle. Attending the camp will be the Chargers first round draft pick, DE JOEY BOSA, who will speak to the children about nutrition and fitness and participate in the camp with the children. Off duty police officers, sheriff’s deputies, probation officers and other volunteers from the non-profit organization STAR/PAL, along with United Way volunteers, will be on hand to have fun with the kids and run the drills.

San Francisco 49ers

On Monday, Oct. 17, 49ers players and staff will bring the PLAY 60 movement to the students of Robert Sanders Elementary. 300 students will participate in football drills and recess activities to encourage 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The students will be equipped with new donated sports equipment for year-round use and enjoyment. 

Seattle Seahawks

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Seahawks and volunteers from United Way of King County will visit the Southwest Boys and Girls Club as part of the annual Hometown Huddle. Seahawks’ Rookie Club, members of the Sea Gals and mascot Blitz will participate in a PLAY 60-themed assembly and reveal a large-equipment donation to support the club’s youth football program, White Center Sea Hawks. The equipment donation includes:  helmets, jerseys, mouth guards, and additional gear. Following the assembly, players and Sea Gals with interact with students, serve dinner and share tips on how to lead an active and healthy life. The Southwest Boys and Girls Club serves a low-income community in south Seattle where most children are on free or reduced lunches. The facility provides dinner, homework assistance, access to technology, a music studio, a teen center, a gym, gaming room, youth sports leagues and college preparation for 250 members.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Glazer Family Foundation Co-President, DARCIE GLAZER KASSEWITZ and Buccaneers players including LAVONTE DAVID, KWON ALEXANDER, DONOVAN SMITH and CAMERON BRATE, joined more than 150 Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff, Cheerleaders and Captain Fear, along with United Way Suncoast volunteers and Tampa Mayor, BOB BUCKHORN, to assist the renovation of the Sulphur Springs Resource Center and K-8 Community School for the team’s annual Hometown Huddle project. The team and volunteers’ effort included painting picnic tables, benches, sidewalks and parking lots, installing new carpets, adding new landscaping, and contributing to other facility improvements. Players also led children through PLAY 60 drills, read to elementary school students, and enhanced their physical education area. In addition, the Glazer Family Foundation Vision Mobile was on-site to provide eye examinations and prescription glasses to students in need.

Tennessee Titans

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Titans and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville are teaming up to inspire kids to learn while moving at this year’s Hometown Huddle event, upgrading the adjoining playground of Napier Elementary School and Napier Community Center. Using stencils, volunteers from both organizations will create vibrant colors and designs that inspire students to learn and move through games, increasing physical activity time and making learning fun. Meanwhile, inside the community center, Titans players and cheerleaders will lead students through a series of PLAY 60 obstacle courses and activities.

Washington Redskins

On Thursday, Oct. 27, the Redskins, in partnership with EverFi, will launch the Character Playbook program at a middle school in Loudoun County, VA.

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About NFL PLAY 60:

For nearly a decade, NFL PLAY 60 has brought together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations to increase physical activity among youth. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $325 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have constructed more than 200 NFL Youth Fitness Zones and integrated programs into more than 73,000 schools since the campaign launched. NFL PLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. For more information, visit http://www.nflrush.com/play60/.

 

About United Way

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.8 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide, and more than $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

Media Contact

Kyle Richardson
NFL
kyle.richardson@nfl.com

Southerlyn Worsham
United Way Worldwide
southerlyn.worsham@unitedway.org