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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Making an IMPACT

LB Shelton Quarles held his annual Extra Efforts Award Luncheon on Tuesday, awarding a well-deserved college scholarship and recognizing a community leader


LB Shelton Quarles recognizes Steve Burton, managing partner of Broad and Cassel, for his contributions to the community

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shelton Quarles hosted his second annual Extra Effort Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, an event sponsored by his IMPACT Foundation. The title of the luncheon is fitting, since Quarles himself puts extra effort into the extensive work he does in the Bay area community.

Representatives from businesses that sponsor the IMPACT Foundation's events during the year gathered in the West Club Lounge at Raymond James Stadium on Tuesday along with Quarles and several of his teammates. Fellow linebacker Ryan Nece, wide receiver Edell Shepherd, defensive end Dewayne White and defensive tackle Ellis Wyms were all on hand to lend their support to the luncheon. The agenda was to award one high school student with a renewable college scholarship and to recognize a local lawyer for the charitable contributions he provides to the community.

Based on grade point average, financial need and extracurricular involvement, the foundation chose Christina Hager, a 17-year-old senior at Sickles High School, as the 2005 scholarship recipient. Hager's qualifications include several honors classes and a 5.67 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. She is also captain of the dance team, and she has recorded over 100 hours of community service in the last two years through her church and Tampa Pop, a teen service organization.

"The reason why we're a part of this community is to have an impact, and I think that's what she's done," Quarles said of Hager. "For her to have the aspirations and goals she has – goals I think she will attain – is fantastic."

Hager plans to attend either the University of Florida or the University of Central Florida where she will decide between a career in child psychology or neurology. Hager's scholarship from the Shelton Quarles IMPACT Foundation is renewable, meaning she will receive $2,053 each year that she is in college.

Hager's priorities were evident at the luncheon by her absence. The dedicated student was in the middle of semester finals at school but she did send a message of thanks to both Quarles and the IMPACT Foundation for the scholarship, and she made sure to finish it with, "Go Bucs!"

Steve Burton, managing partner of Broad and Cassel in Tampa, was recognized for his contributions to the community. Burton sits on the University of South Florida board of trustees, as well as the University Community Hospital foundation board.

Burton received the extra effort award due to his work with SUPERKids, a program designed to help at-risk students succeed in school. Quarles has worked with the SUPERKids program and knows firsthand the work that goes into driving the program towards success.

"Shelton and I met a year or so ago and within five or 10 minutes we were on the same page in many ways," Burton said upon accepting his award. "Shelton, thank you for what you did to make this program possible."

Parnell Dickinson, one of the first quarterbacks in Buccaneers franchise history, served as keynote speaker at the luncheon. Dickinson, who also works extensively in the community through the retired chapter of the NFL Player's Association, encouraged those in attendance to continue their support which makes an impact on Quarles so he can, in turn, impact the community.

In a profession where statistics and numbers dictate success on the field, Quarles is quick to point out that the same does not apply to his work off the field.

"It's not all about the numbers," Quarles said. "It's not about how many people we help. As long as we get one, that's reason enough for me to keep doing the programs."

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