Wednesday night, the Buccaneers welcomed Mayor Jane Castor at the Economic Club of Tampa's Mayoral Inaugural Ball 2019 presented by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation. The event followed the official swearing in ceremony last week and is a tradition in the community following mayoral elections.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation donated $50,000 to the Hillsborough Education Foundation to go towards Florida Prepaid College Scholarships for underserved students who are demonstrating hard work and academic success. The donation is part of a matching program through the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation Social Justice Fund in which player donations are matched up to $1 million. The donation given at the Mayoral Inaugural Ball represents a match to the $50,000 the Buccaneers' defensive line contributed for their D-Line Delivers Christmas event.
Buccaneers Owner and President of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation and Glazer Family Foundation Darcie Glazer Kassewitz was on hand to voice her support for Mayor Castor at the event.
"As a lifelong Tampa resident, Mayor Castor has dedicated her entire career to providing dedicated public service," Glazer Kassewitz said. "Her love for this city is undeniable and her campaign centered around finding ways to improve the lives of her fellow citizens. Our mission is so closely aligned with Mayor Castor's vision for Tampa's future. The goal of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation is to uplift our community, inspire our youth and drive social change through programs that enrich the lives of families in our region."
One of the pillars of the Bucs Social Justice program is youth empowerment, which aligns with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation's larger youth initiative that has seen the unveiling of the largest school program in the history of the franchise, impacting more than 200,000 students just last year. The D-Line Delivers Christmas event that provided the initial donation was centered around the same pillar.
"It is through the hard work, passion, and dedication of our players to their community that we have been able to make a difference in the lives of so many of our neighbors," added Glazer Kassewitz.
The holiday event, which has become a staple in the Bucs' community efforts each year, surprises children from local non-profit organizations with an uplifting evening filled with gifts and holiday cheer at Raymond James Stadium. The $50,000 donation made by the defensive line that went towards providing children with an amazing holiday experience was matched dollar-for-dollar by the Social Justice Fund and was presented to the Hillsborough Education Foundation as part of the celebrations for Mayor Jane Castor, aligning the mission of both foundations seamlessly.
To cap off the evening, Buccaneers players Vita Vea, Will Gholston, Pat O'Connor, Jeremiah Ledbetter and Rakeem Nunez-Roches, all members of the defensive line that took part in last season's event, presented the city's new mayor with a framed No. 59 Buccaneers jersey as the 59th mayor in Tampa's history.