By helping to clean up the Dunedin Causeway Beach, SAB members did their part to keep local wildlife safe
Beach visits are popular among high school students in March, but they're usually related to spring break festivities of some sort. For members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Student Advisory Board (SAB), however, a recent trip to local sandy shores was all about giving back to their community.
Participating in the Dunedin Causeway Cleanup, a group of SAB volunteers recently came together in an effort to remove trash from the beach and causeway areas. The endeavor was part of the monthly causeway cleanup project taking place under the direction of David White, coordinator of volunteers for City of Dunedin.
Armed with trash bags and plastic gloves, SAB members combed the designated area for the better part of two hours on a brisk, windy morning. Their efforts didn't go unnoticed. Many of the joggers, dog-walkers and those just there for some relaxation made it a point to thank the students for their hard work. The young volunteers not only improved the appearance of the shoreline but also helped ensure the protection of the wildlife that inhabits the area.
"Dunedin is a remarkable community with a strong spirit of volunteerism, especially in an area like this, where so many people use the beach and use the causeways," White said. "It is very important to keep sea birds form getting tangled and trash from blowing into water and getting ingested by turtles or fish."
Comprised of high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, the SAB is a group of highly motivated students interested in performing community service projects, fostering Buccaneer spirit in their schools and developing leadership skills in preparation for continuing education.
The SAB was established by the Buccaneers Community Relations department during the 1999 offseason and is aimed at developing the leaders of tomorrow. Since its inception, the group has become an integral part of the team's community outreach efforts.
All SAB members are also required to work at Buccaneers home games and to attend the home games in which they are not working. The group holds monthly meetings at One Buccaneer Place or in Buccaneer Cove at Raymond James Stadium. Through their interactions with the team, members get a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of a professional football club. They are also privy to the professional and personal wisdom of successful men and women in the sports industry.
But above everything else, the primary goal of the SAB remains giving back to the community.
"It was really, really windy; it was really cold," said SAB member Alysia Santana, a senior from Chamberlain High School in Tampa. "But I'm out here to help do the beach cleanup because I feel it's a really important thing to keep the environment clean."