TAMPA, FL (FNN Sports) – On Tuesday, Oct. 27, more than 100 Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff will join forces with United Way Suncoast and City of Tampa volunteers to spend the entire day renovating the Jackson Heights NFL Y.E.T. Center (NFL Youth Education Town Center, 3310 E. Lake Ave., Tampa, FL 33610) for the team’s annual “Hometown Huddle.” Now in its 17th year, the NFL-United Way “Hometown Huddle” features a league-wide day of service where NFL teams take part in service projects, host youth football clinics and help kids get active for 60 minutes a day as part of NFL PLAY 60, the league’s youth health and wellness campaign.
The community project will kick off at 10:00 a.m., with remarks from City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Glazer Family Foundation Co-President Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, and Chairman of the United Way Suncoast Tampa Area Board of Directors, Eric Bailey. The Buccaneers and the NFL/LISC Grassroots Program will then announce a $200,000 grant presented to CAN-DO, Inc., a non-profit organization working in conjunction with the City of Tampa’s Park and Recreation Department, to install a new synthetic turf football field at the community center which will be named “Tampa Bay Buccaneers Field.” Throughout the day, more than 100 volunteers will contribute to the project, which is scheduled to conclude at 4:00 p.m.
To help lead the efforts, the entire Buccaneers business operations staff will participate in the renovation, which will involve more than $50,000 in upgrades, including painting, landscaping, and dance/fitness room enhancements, while also interacting with the youth attending the recreation center. The NFL Y.E.T. Center, established in 2001 in East Tampa as part of a legacy project following the 2001 Super Bowl, is home to youth football, school and intramural sport leagues, and summer camp events for the surrounding community.
The grant is part of $2.5 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year by the NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation’s leading community development support organization. LISC has committed nearly $40 million to the program since 1998, supporting the creation or refurbishment of 306 fields nationwide. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements including irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities.
The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields. Now in its 42nd 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 works in 1,200 communities across America, is creating healthier communities by increasing access to nutritious foods for families and increasing opportunities for physical exercise and play.
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. All 32 clubs activate PLAY 60 locally, with thousands of NFL PLAY 60 events held 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.