Wide receiver Joe Jurevicius wants to help other families avoid the devastation of breast cancer
The topic of breast cancer is one that weighs heavily on the mind of Buccaneers receiver Joe Jurevicius. On Wednesday he showed his support for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation by attending its 2002 Race for the Cure Kickoff Party, an event called 'Pink Martinis at the Blue Martini.'
"Just within the last four months I've lost an aunt and a dear friend, one to breast cancer and one to ovarian cancer," said Jurevicius. "Having a mother, a fiancee, a sister, aunts, grandmothers and friends, they are all very dear to us and for this disease to reign terror on good people isn't acceptable. I want to help support finding a cure so that this disease doesn't hurt the lives of any more families."
Wednesday's event got its name from the pink ribbons worn to promote breast cancer awareness and the site of the party, the Blue Martini at International Plaza. 'Pink Martinis' was designed to raise both awareness and funds for the Komen Race for the Cure event that raises money to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment.
This year's Race for the Cure will be held on September 21. For more information on how you can participate, please visit komensuncoast.com or call 727-734-7832.
The Courage to Try
Soccer has the World Cup, football has the Super Bowl and baseball has the World Series. To the kids at the Children's Home the crowning event each year is the Murphey Awards Competition.
Over the past month, youth residents of the Children's Home participated in running, swimming, track and field and other athletic contests in pursuit of the Murphey Awards. On Wednesday, the Children's Home hosted its annual awards ceremony for the Murphy's, celebrating the achievements and accomplishments of its resident children. The motto for the Murphey Awards is "The Courage To Try".
On hand to help distribute the Murphey Awards to the kids was a contingent of Buccaneers, including WR Darryl Daniel, T Brian Gruber, G Russ Hochstein, S John Howell, WR Milton Wynn and General Manager Rich McKay.
"It was a lot of fun (to present the awards)," said Gruber. "The kids out here are great and it's nice to be able to present them with the awards that they've earned through their own hard work and dedication."
At the awards banquet, one determined 13-year-old young lady was presented with the annual John McKay Effort Award for outstanding achievement and dedication.
"Our family has had a relationship with the Children's Home for a number of years," said McKay. "These are the kids that need us and the people that work here are really special in providing everything that these kids need to have a better life. It's just nice that we've been able to be involved."
The Children's Home is a nationally-recognized residential program for dependent children which strives to create opportunities for children to be successful, valued and respected in safe and nurturing families.
Par for the Course
Each year through his foundation, the Derrick Brooks Fund, and his youth program, Brooks' Bunch, Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks helps countless youngsters follow their dreams. In May, as he has done in the past, Brooks conducted a golf tournament featuring many of his teammates and coaches in order to raise funds for his foundation. This year's tournament was held at Old Memorial Golf Club in Tampa, Florida.
This year's fundraising festivities began with a Pairings Party at Old Memorial the night before the tournament. At the party, tournament participants were matched with their celebrity golfers. Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden showed his competitive spirit during the live auction as he went on stage to be auctioned as a celebrity golfer against Brooks.
The golf action began the following morning, following a best-ball scramble format and including a number of individual and team-oriented competitions such as longest drive, hole-in-one, closest to the pin and team low gross.
Brooks received tremendous support from many of his teammates, including QB Brad Johnson, S John Lynch, CB Ronde Barber, K Martin Gramatica, C Jeff Christy, FB Mike Alstott, T Jerry Wunsch, T Kenyatta Walker, DT Warren Sapp, DT Anthony McFarland and QB Shaun King. Other celebrities to participate included Reggie White, Terrell Buckley, Lamar Thomas, Casey Weldon, Bill Gramatica, Matt Geiger and Brad Richards.
Funds raised from the 2002 Derrick Brooks Celebrity Classic will support the Brooks Bunch Program, which he created in 1996 with the Boys & Girls Clubs of some of Central Florida's most underprivileged neighborhoods. Through Brooks Bunch, Derrick has been able to create programs for these children including the Game Day Ticket Program and Educational Field Trips that have taken them to places like Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Georgia, the Wild, Wild West and, most notably, Africa for a ten-day tour in 2000.
Learning the Game
Less than a week after the Buccaneers finished their 2002 offseason program, quarterback Brad Johnson has gone from student to teacher.
Currently taking place at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg is the inaugural Brad Johnson Football Camp, a comprehensive clinic for kids ages 8-18. The camp began on Thursday and will stretch through Sunday, with many of the participants staying overnight on campus during the four-day event.
One of the most accurate passers in NFL history, Johnson created his camp in order to pass on both football and life lessons to the youth of the community.
"I'm really excited to have the opportunity to work with youngsters in this area and help in their development in the game of football," he said. "In addition, we will focus on life skills, morals, values and sportsmanship. I have been looking forward to getting involved in a football camp in this community and plan on continuing this camp for many years to come."
The four-day camp includes instructions from some of Johnson's Buccaneer teammates as well as an array of major college coaches from the ACC, Big 12 and Big 10 conferences. Participants are running through practice sessions on offense and defense and are also being trained and tested in the areas of speed, strength and agility. Practices are followed by 7-on-7 passing games, highlight film viewing sessions and lectures on fitness, nutrition, drug abuse, motivation, self-Discipline, strength and conditioning.
McFarland Takes SWAT at Tobacco Use
On Friday, defensive tackle Anthony McFarland will speak to a group of students at the Belleview Biltmore who are working to inform their fellow teens about the dangers of tobacco.
SWAT, Students Working Against Tobacco, is a grassroots advocacy organization created by Florida's youth. Sixty-seven chapters (one for each county in Florida) wage the battle against tobacco with the support of adult partnership members who help them plan and implement activities. SWAT membership is open to all middle and high school aged youth and has a membership statewide of over 50,000 students with almost 40% minority representation.
McFarland has his own organization called "Booger's Bucs Can Wait" that works with Hillsborough County middle schools to educate kids about making informed decisions on issues such as smoking, drinking, using drugs and forming relationships.