TAMPA BAY – Today, in a collaborative effort, Owner/President of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation and Glazer Family Foundation Darcie Glazer Kassewitz joined Jabil Senior Vice President Beth Walters, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a dozen Buccaneers players, more than 200 staff members from the Buccaneers and Jabil, Buccaneers Cheerleaders, Captain Fear, and United Way Suncoast representatives to strengthen a community area in need through a joint “Day of Service”.
The huge contingent of volunteers spent the day renovating and refreshing the Grant Park Community Center and Playground, a central resource for many children and families in the East Tampa neighborhood. The community center benefitted from a wide variety of enhancements and upgrades following weeks of planning, preparation and a full day of community service spearheaded by the Buccaneers and Jabil.
“The Buccaneers, through our players and our entire staff, have given thousands of community service hours because it’s one of the most valuable and important things we can do as a franchise,” said Glazer Kassewitz. “We want to be champions both on and off the field and today, with support from our partners at Jabil, everybody came out with the common goal of lifting up the community. That’s what it’s all about.”
The dual-impact project included a completely refurbished computer lab with new IT equipment, additional work stations and a printer to assist local students with their schoolwork and help adults seeking employment. The project added a brand new hydroponic garden to enable community residents to grow fruits and vegetables with programming through the non-profit organization Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful. Additionally, volunteers refreshed the playground and overhauled the entire building with fresh paint, new landscaping and a newly-constructed teen hangout room to support the city’s Stay and Play program.
“Jabil is extremely pleased to have developed a meaningful community partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that allow our organizations to give back in such a purposeful manner,” said Walters. “Our work today at Grant Park was fulfilling for so many and we look forward to building a long, fruitful ‘Day of Service’ for Tampa Bay.”
In the afternoon, more than a dozen Buccaneers players including punter Bryan Anger, tight end O.J. Howard, wide receiver Adam Humphries and left tackle Donovan Smith welcomed 80 local students to the park center for the anticipated reveal. Cheers could be heard throughout the complex as the children celebrated their renovated Buccaneers-themed community center, complete with a new computer lab and fitness room.
As part of the team’s commitment to youth football development, Buccaneers players then led the students in Play 60 drills – encouraging exercise while teaching the fundamentals of the game. Focused on promoting the sport’s advancement while encouraging safe youth play, the afternoon included a special gift for each youth in attendance. At the conclusion of the event, the Buccaneers surprised each child with a brand-new pair of cleats.
The Grant Park neighborhood faces unique challenges and needs, with roughly 40 percent of the population below the poverty line. The project’s impact was not lost on Mayor Buckhorn, who commended the volunteer group for their efforts.
“This shows that people care, that our corporate community cares and that our sports teams care,” said Buckhorn. “The Buccaneers have a long history of caring and investing in the community. This place looks spectacular and it’s going to affect the lives of every one of those little kids out here. The long-term impact of the investment here is going to pay dividends for generations. These are the kinds of projects that make a difference and that’s exactly what the Bucs and all the partners are doing.”
The enhanced collaboration between the Buccaneers and Jabil symbolized both organizations’ commitment to enriching the Tampa Bay community through impactful teamwork and reviving positive fixtures in the Grant Park area.