Bucs rookies visited the Moffitt Cancer Center to spend time with patients and their families.
It was no ordinary day at Moffitt Cancer Center, and that was exactly the plan as the Buccaneers Rookie class visited with patients and their families on Tuesday morning. Rookies O.J. Howard, Chris Godwin, Kendall Beckwith, Justin Evans, Bobo Wilson, Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, David Rivers, Eric Nzeocha, Patrick O'Connor and Riley Bullough stopped by the treatment center and lifted the spirits of everybody in their path; including staff members.
As they toured from room to room, along with Captain Fear and Cheerleaders, players connected with patients on life, football, and family; bringing a change of scenery during an otherwise anxious experience. "This is important for our patients and their families," says Community Relations Manager for Moffitt Cancer Center, Lizette Robles. "People that are here are undergoing treatment and were not expecting to see the Buccaneers. Today, the story they tell when they go home will be different."
After visiting with patients, the team participated in the Moffit Healthy KIDZ Program with students from Sligh Middle School, Lee Elementary and Buccaneers Academy Lockhart Elementary for interactive play. Moffitt Healthy KIDZ is a community outreach program offered by Moffitt Cancer Center with a focus on cancer prevention, healthy living and positive life choices. The players and students reinforced the message with PLAY 60 drills, the NFL's campaign encouraging youth to be active at least 60 minutes a day.
Throughout the year, the Buccaneers rookies are participating in a variety of outreach activities as members of the Buccaneers Rookie Club, the team's long-standing effort to engage its youngest players with the local community. This offseason, the rookies participated in a go-kart outing with Tampa Fire Rescue and met with military service members and their families during a tour of MacDill Air Force Base. Last week, they spent their off day with children at Metropolitan Ministries, and as the year progresses, the rookies will continue to participate in events that support active and retired military, inspire underprivileged youth, and promote healthy lifestyles for local children.
"These are experiences that you hold close to your heart," says Rookie Linebacker Kendall Beckwith. "It makes me appreciate the opportunity that I have to play the game that I love even more."
For more information on the team's community initiatives, visit www.buccaneers.com/community