Summer and golf just go together in Florida. On Friday, they came together for a good cause as Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans hosted his Celebrity Golf Outing where his Mike Evans Family Foundation donated $25,000 to the University of South Florida in order to help start a scholarship fund for local students in need of financial assistance. They presented the check before everyone teed off and in turn, Evans' Foundation received a $10,000 matching grant from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation Social Justice Fund, also presented on Friday morning.
"It means the world to me," Evans said of his opportunity to give back. "It gives me a certain satisfaction that I can't really explain. Having all the money and being able to live out my dream is great and all, but it wouldn't mean [anything] if I wasn't able to help other people.
"We always knew Tampa and the places that I've come from have had great help and have always showed love to me and I appreciate them. Without the generosity of these people out here today then this wouldn't be possible."
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Social Justice Fund is a campaign that provides matching contributions to social justice initiatives by Buccaneers players and Legends up to $1 million. It was founded by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation on the mission of uplifting our community, inspiring our youth, and driving social change through programs that enrich the lives of families in our region.
Following the presentations, Evans and many of his teammates, like quarterback Jameis Winston, hit the links at River Hills Country Club in Valrico, Fla.
"Being in the community and helping out your brothers is what it's all about." Winston said. "I love to see the things Mike has done out here in the community and good to see his beautiful family and good to be out here for a great cause."
The event even included a closest-to-the-hole ball drop from a helicopter by Evans. All proceeds from the morning will go towards the Mike Evans Family Foundation that focuses on giving every student the opportunity to continue their education and chase their dreams, no matter their financial situation. The MEFF serves students from low-income families in need of financial assistance to empower, encourage and motivate today's youth along with supporting women and families battling domestic violence, a very personal cause for Evans, in particular.
The MEFF has a strong presence both here in Tampa Bay and back in Evans' hometown of Galveston, Texas. The donation to South Florida follows a donation in recent weeks by the Foundation to Evans' Alma Mater, Texas A&M, helping to create a scholarship fund for local students in Texas, as well.