Hurricane Irma affected communities throughout Tampa Bay, the state of Florida and the Caribbean, having a devastating impact on families throughout the region. On Monday, the Glazer family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, committed $1 million to the American Red Crossin support of relief efforts that are underway in response to Hurricane Irma.
Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer stated: "Hurricane Irma left a path of destruction throughout the entire state of Florida. The long recovery process is already underway and the entire Buccaneer organization stands in support of all those who have been impacted. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected as well as the countless numbers of first responders and everyone who is working so selflessly to keep our communities safe."
For the Buccaneers' season opener against the Chicago Bears, which is presented by Raymond James, the team is donating tickets to first respondersfrom the Bay area and surrounding counties. In addition, the Buccaneers will honor those who helped support the relief efforts and encourage fans to join the cause. Fans may text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Hurricane Relief and to visit oneamericaappeal.org to donate to the fund.
On Wednesday, the NFL Foundation announced it will contribute $1 million to Hurricane Irma relief efforts to be split evenly between the American Red Cross and the five living former American Presidents' One America Appeal. Both organizations will address the immediate needs of those impacted throughout Florida and the Florida Keys, while some of the Red Cross funds will support the hardest hit areas in the Caribbean.
The NFL Foundation's donation matches the respective $1 million contributions of the Buccaneers to the American Red Cross, the Jacksonville Jaguars to Florida's First Coast Relief Fund and the Miami Dolphins to the AARP Foundation Miami Dolphins Hurricane Irma Relief Fund.
BUCS CARE FOUNDATION TO DONATE PROCEEDS FROM BUCS CARE 50/50 RAFFLE
On Sunday, the Bucs Care Foundation will donate its portion of the proceeds from the game's Bucs Care 50/50 Raffle to the American Red Cross to support those impacted by Hurricane Irma.
TEAM INTRODUCTIONS AND HONORARY GUESTS OF THE GAME: FIRST RESPONDERS
For team introductions, Officer Gig Brown from the Tampa Police Department, Christopher Woolridgefrom Tampa Fire Rescue and Deputy Allison Miller from the Hillsborough County Sherriff's Office will lead the team out of the tunnel. Following the national anthem, Hillsborough County Sherriff's OfficeColonel Chad Chronister,*Tampa Police DepartmentInterim Chief*Brian Dugan,St. Petersburg Police Department Chief Anthony Hollowayand Clearwater Fire & Rescue firefighterMike Joneswill serve as the team's Honorary Guests of the Game for the coin toss.
HEROES OF THE GAME: FIRST RESPONDERS
Before kickoff, the Buccaneers will recognize First Responders who have been leading relief efforts in their respective districts as the Heroes of the Game. These men and women will be stationed on the Pirate Ship in Buccaneer Cove for the ringing of the ship bell and to ready the team for action. The Heroes of the Game include: Tampa Fire RescueCaptain Justin Baxter, Clearwater Police DepartmentChief Daniel Slaughter,*St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Chief James Largeand Pinellas County Sheriff's OfficeLieutenant Nicholas Lazaris*.
SALUTE TO SERVICE SUITE, SUPPORTED BY JABIL
At every Buccaneers home game, the team honors a distinguished group of military members with an exclusive gameday experience in the Salute to Service Suite, supported by Jabil. During a break in play, fans are encouraged to direct their attention to the pirate ship and join players and coaches in thanking local servicemen and servicewomen for their sacrifices, including:
- From the Air Force, Senior Airman Taylor David Deany
- From the Army, Sergeant First Class Christopher Tunis, Captain Andrew Doerr and
Lieutenant Colonel Heriberto Santiago
- From the Coast Guard, Petty Officer Second Class Brandon Korinek
- From the Marines, Sergeant Britny Brown
- From the Navy, Petty Officer First Class Bryan Inman
BUCCANEERS ACADEMY GAMEDAY FOR KIDS GUESTS
The Bucs Care Foundation hosts 100 "Gameday for Kids" from the Buccaneers Academy program to promote academic achievement and positive behavior in children. Selected groups receive game tickets, t-shirts, food vouchers and Buccaneers flags by achieving goals set by their teachers. More than 16,000 youths and community members representing over 100 organizations from Tampa Bay have been rewarded through the annual program. This game's attendees will represent Lockhart Elementary.
BUCS FOR A BETTER BAY
Bucs for a Better Bay is the team's far-reaching commitment to making Tampa Bay better today and for generations to come. A key component is the Buccaneers Academy programming, through which the Buccaneers provide resources, enhanced curriculum, and hands-on participation from Buccaneers players and cheerleaders to over 16,000 underserved students and 2,200 teachers at 24 elementary schools the team has adopted throughout Hillsborough County. Each of the schools in the Buccaneers Academy program, most of which are Title I schools, has also received a court-sized shade cover that provides an improved environment for students to safely participate in physical health and wellness activities.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers players, coaches, cheerleaders, alumni, and staff have an active role in community improvement through a variety of youth health and education initiatives, family outreach, and military support. Innovative partnerships between the Bucs Care Foundation and local nonprofit organizations provide assistance to thousands of Central Florida residents each year. Glazer Family Foundation initiatives including the Glazer Family Foundation Vision Mobile and the Glazer Children's Museum continue to enhance learning opportunities for Bay Area youths. To learn more, visit www.buccaneers.com/community.