Hall of Fame S Ronnie Lott (right) helped shape a keen commitment to community work in his son, LB Ryan Nece
Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Ryan Nece has learned a lot from his father, NFL Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott, and not all of it pertains to football. This was evident on Tuesday when Lott served as the keynote speaker at the "Most Valuable Prayer Breakfast," the inaugural fundraiser for the newly-formed Ryan Nece Foundation.
The MVP Breakfast welcomed approximately 250 guests to the West Club of Raymond James Stadium. The event served as a fundraiser for not only the Ryan Nece Foundation but also the Good Samaritan Program that Nece has designed in conjunction with his good friend and Buccaneers teammate, safety Jermaine Phillips.
Since joining the Buccaneers together in 2002, Nece and Phillips have made community giving and charitable work a daily part of their lives. Now, the two have created a program that strives to provide physical, financial and spiritual assistance for those in need around the Bay area.
Nece and Phillips introduced their Good Samaritan Program at the breakfast before recognizing two local organizations that exhibit the characteristics of good Samaritans, All Sports Community Service and Metropolitan Ministries. Both organizations were presented with awards in recognition of their service to others.
The crowd was then treated to a highlight video that showed some of Lott's best hits during his 14 seasons in the NFL. The video depicted Lott as much more than a football player, though, as it transitioned quickly to footage of his family and work with his foundation, All Stars Helping Kids.
As Nece said as he introduced his father, it was Lott who inspired his son to work so hard to make his community a better place. Throughout his speech, Lott encouraged the crowd to share their spirit with one another and to wake up every day asking themselves what they will do with their spirit.
"I want to go to the Hall of Fame of life," Lott said as he encouraged the room to get involved in the lives of those around them.
"Jermaine and I wanted to develop a program that would really touch the lives of people in the Tampa Bay community," said Nece. "We came up with the Good Samaritan Program as a way to assist those who just need that extra boost towards success."
Many of Nece and Phillips' teammates were on hand to show their support for the event and for the Good Samaritan Program. Buccaneers S Will Allen, LB Derrick Brooks, LB Wes Mallard, QB Luke McCown, LB Barrett Ruud, LB Shelton Quarles and DE Dewayne White were all in attendance.
To learn more about the Good Samaritan Program, including how to nominate a program recipient or how to donate goods and/or services to the program, please click here.