Florida Sports Awards, the non-profit organization that serves as the official sports awards show for the state of Florida, announced yesterday that Tampa Bay Buccaneers T Jerry Wunsch is a nominee for the 2001 "Hometown Hero" Award. Wunsch is being honored for his "Circle of Friends" charity program, an effort through which he sponsors annual winter ski trips for sick children.
Every year, Wunsch brings together approximately 30 pediatric cancer and sickle cell anemia patients from around the country for a carefree ski weekend in his hometown of Wausau, Wisconsin. During the trips, kids enjoy activities such as cross-country and downhill skiing, dog sledding, campfires and snowmobile rides. The group also visits Green Bay, Wisconsin where they tour the Green Bay Packers' team facility, Lambeau Field and the Packer Hall of Fame.
Wunsch has sponsored the annual ski trip for the past four years. In 2001, St. Louis Rams DE Grant Wistrom joined Wunsch in sponsoring the program, and brought eight children from St. Louis' SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital Bob Costas Cancer Center on the trip.
Each year the Florida Sports Awards recognize individuals from each professional sports team and tour who make significant contributions to youth in their communities. Each athlete is honored as a Hometown Hero and receives recognition during the annual Florida Sports Awards ceremony.
This year's annual Florida Sports Awards ceremony will commence on Saturday, June 9 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Jacksonville.