John and Linda Lynch announce the Lynch Family Foundation's 'Tackles for Tampa Bay' Program
Midway through the second quarter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' most recent game, against Pittsburgh, Steelers QB Kordell Stewart dropped back to pass on second-and-two. Stewart was flushed quickly from the pocket by a Bucs blitz and tried to scramble up the middle for yardage. Tampa Bay S John Lynch was there to meet him, tackling Stewart a few inches short of where the play began.
Because the ball was officially spotted at the same yard marker as the line of scrimmage, there was no gain on the play and it was officially a sack for Lynch. Somewhere in living rooms across the Bay area, young student athletes were smiling.
That's because Lynch's play meant an instant donation of $1,000 to the John Lynch Foundation, as part of the Foundation's new 'Tackles for Tampa Bay' program.
Just announced Wednesday by Lynch and his wife, Linda, who formed the Foundation almost two years ago, Tackles for Tampa Bay begins with donations from the Lynch family for every tackle, interception and sack the Bucs' all-pro safety makes during the 2001 season, as well as every Buccaneer victory. In announcing the program on Wednesday, John and Linda invited matching pledge commitments from companies and individuals throughout the community.
Since the Lynches cover all administrative expenses, all donations go directly to the Foundation's youth-based programs. Since it's inception, the John Lynch Foundation has raised more than $200,000.
Lynch is one of the most productive players in the 26-year history of the Buccaneers' franchise, ranking fifth all-time in tackles (713) and seventh on the career interceptions list (16). Those numbers are sure to rise rapidly during the 2001 season, and the Lynch family has committed to pledge $100 per tackle, $500 per interception and $1,000 per sack through Tackles for Tampa Bay. In addition, they will contribute $1,000 for every Buccaneer victory. Companies and individuals interested in matching this program or making donations of any kind can find informational pledge cards at all Bay area Publix Super Markets, all Colonial Bank and Manufacturer's Bank locations and all Sweet Tomatoes Restaurants, as well as 23 other locations.
Pledges may also be made at the Foundation's new web site, www.johnlynchfoundation.org, which provides additional information on the Lynches' programs as well as a running tally of the funds raised by Tackles for Tampa Bay.
Tackles for Tampa Bay is an exciting way to help the John Lynch Foundation develop quality young leaders. Participants can watch Buccaneers football, follow Lynch's progress throughout the season and give back at the same time. All proceeds from "Tackles for Tampa Bay" will help the John Lynch Foundation continue to reach thousands of young people in the Tampa Bay area and instill in them the drive to become productive community leaders.
The John Lynch Foundation is committed to developing quality young leaders by providing programs that assist, motivate and recognize achievement and excellence. Among the annual programs run by the Foundation are 'Salute the Stars,' which recognizes and awards excellence in area student/athletes, ticket/incentive programs incorporating the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, and an annual Christmas party for underprivileged children.
"Our mission has turned into one that we're very proud of, and that is to develop quality, young leaders within our community," said Lynch in announcing Tackles for Tampa Bay on Wednesday. "We do that, first of all, encouraging dreams. We encourage kids to shoot for the stars and set their goals extremely high. Secondly, we recognize and reward achievement and excellence.
"We would encourage people to support this program. You're going to see these things all over town and we just ask you to give it your consideration."