The Glazer Family Foundation was hard at work this offseason providing many West Central Florida organizations with donated items and monetary grants.
Through programs such as Backpack It Back-To-School, Vision Screening, Bi-Annual Grants and Make Reading Your Goal, the foundation serves the Tampa Bay area in a variety of ways. The foundation works with established not-for-profit organizations that serves youth and families, helping to identify and create programs that support positive social and economic development within our communities.
Each summer, the Glazer Family Foundation donates a total of 1,500 backpacks filled with school supplies and Buccaneers merchandise to students at area schools and youth organizations. This year, 14 organizations in Hillsborough, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk Counties received backpacks through the Backpack It Back-To-School Program. Since the program's inception, the Glazer Family Foundation has provided approximately 10,500 children at over 49 organizations with backpacks and supplies.
The foundation made even more strides towards helping children learn when, in July 2006, the Glazer Family Foundation announced the donation of more than $40,000 in vision screening equipment to the Hillsborough and Pinellas County school systems. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Owner and President Malcolm Glazer benefited from vision services as a student and today the Glazer Family Foundation is committed to ensuring that local schoolchildren have vision problems identified.
In August, as part of the Bi-Annual Grant Program, grant recipients from seven Bay area non-profit organizations visited Buccaneers training camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex, where Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden presented each of the organizations with grant checks and a commemorative plaque. Organizations that received a grant included Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Inc.-Florida Chapter, Bess the Book Bus, Inc., Camp Boggy Creek, Children First, Fostering Hope Florida, Harbor House-Orange County Center Against Domestic Violence and Plant City Children's Theatre. The Bi-Annual Grant Program awards approximately $50,000 each year to charitable organizations in the Greater Tampa Bay and West Central Florida areas.
The latest foundation project is currently in the works. The Glazer Family Foundation encourages youth to make reading their goal by providing area libraries with Buccaneers bookmarks each fall. Over 70 public libraries in seven West Central Florida counties receive a total of 200,000 bookmarks in two styles. Children receive a free bookmark when they check out a book from their local public library. The bookmarks, which highlight Buccaneers players, feature CB Brian Kelly and QB Chris Simms this season. Be on the lookout for Buccaneers bookmarks at your local library coming soon!