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To celebrate the first NFL Charities Week, the NFL foundation of the same name is awarding grants to the organizations run by 89 current and former league players, including Bucs Will Allen and Brian Griese


S Will Allen will receive a grant from NFL Charities for the foundation he has established

For hundreds of players across the National Football League, making a difference in the community is as important as succeeding on the football field. This week, NFL Charities wants to call attention to those men who routinely work hard to better the lives of others.

The league and its charitable foundation are celebrating the inaugural NFL Charities Week by awarding $1 million worth of grants to 89 charitable player foundations. Included among the recipients are foundations established by Tampa Bay Buccaneers Will and Brian Griese, as well as a number of former Buccaneers including Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, Tyrone Keys, John Lynch, Ryan Nece and Doug Williams.

In addition, as part of NFL Charities Week, five player foundations receiving grants will be recognized at events nationwide, with one program highlighted per day between Monday and Friday. Players being celebrated this week are Torry and Terrence HOLT (both currently free agents); Matt Light of the New England Patriots; Chad Pennington of the Miami Dolphins; Tony Richardson of the New York Jets; and Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys.

NFL Charities has awarded more than $110 million dollars since its creation in 1973 and has awarded grants to more than 300 different organizations. By reaching out to the foundations created by its own players, the NFL knows it can reach deep into communities all across the nation.

"Our players know that the legacy they leave in the community is as important as any on-field achievements," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who also serves as president of the NFL Charities board of directors. "We are proud to support their foundations and applaud their efforts to make their communities healthy, happy, and safe."

Among the programs supported by the Will Allen Foundation is "Allen's Quest for Real Life Success." The Quest is an after school program designed to prepare students for life after high school. It's objectives include preparing students academically for college, preparing students for job/career opportunities and assisting students with developing character and integrity. Quest is structured to address key areas of a high school student's real life development.

Griese's foundation is called "Judi's House," in honor of his mother, who died when he was 12 years old. The mission of Judi's House is to help children and families who are grieving the death of a loved one find hope and healing within themselves. It is located in Denver, Colorado, and more than 2,600 children and their adult caregivers from the metro area have participated in the House's groups since its doors were opened in 2002.

Other current NFL players who are receiving grants this week from NFL Charities include New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, Baltimore center Matt Birk, Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez, Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, Buffalo wide receiver Terrell Owens, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner. Among the retired players getting help for their programs include Doug Flutie, Tarik Glenn, Keith Jackson, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino and Steve Young.

Each year, NFL Charities donates more than $10 million in grants to support causes such as sports-related medical research, youth health programs and the charitable work of current and former NFL players.

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