Laura Lockwood, the first Bay area winner of the NFL's Community Quarterback Award, also went on to win the national award
Since November of 2000, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, along with NFL Charities, have distributed over $100,000 to charities in the Bay area on behalf of their top volunteers thanks to the Buccaneers/NFL Community Quarterback Award program.
The NFL Community Quarterback program, which began in 2000, recognizes outstanding volunteers in the 32 NFL markets (plus one at-large winner) and awards nearly $1 million to the charitable organizations that the volunteers serve. The program honors individuals who exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving the communities in which they live through volunteerism.
For Tampa Bay, it all began when Laura Lockwood was named the inaugural Buccaneers Community Quarterback team winner. Lockwood's community work was so impressive that she didn't stop at the $11,000 first prize given to the local winner. Thanks to ManaTEENs, a charitable organization she founded in 1994, Lockwood went on to win the national award, garnering an additional $25,000 for her charity.
In the three seasons since, the Buccaneers have recognized many more outstanding community heroes – and awarded $70,000 to the yearly winners – though none have gone on to match Lockwood's national triumph. Perhaps that will change this year; the Buccaneers are now looking for their 2004 Community Quarterback.
Any individual age 13 or over who provides volunteer services for a nonprofit (501(c)(3) or 509) organization is eligible for the Buccaneers Community Quarterback Award. However, nominees may serve only in a volunteer capacity and may not receive any compensation – monetary or otherwise – for their efforts. Individuals may nominate themselves or be nominated by others. Nominations can be submitted by: 1) Clicking here to print out and complete a hard-copy nomination form, which can then be sent to : Community Quarterback; Tampa Bay Buccaneers; One Buccaneer Place; Tampa, FL 33607; or 2) Logging on to JoinTheTeam.com and filling out the nomination form online. Both the online and hard-copy versions will request identical information, so please only fill out one form per nominee.
All local winners around the NFL plus the one at-large winner will be eligible for the national Community Quarterback Award. The NFL will appoint a selection panel to name the national winner, who will be announced in late December. NFL Charities will make an additional $15,000 donation to the organization for which the national winner volunteers.
Previous Community Quarterback Winners
Buccaneers Community Quarterback Award Finalists and Winners, 2000-03 (the winners are in bold and the amount each finalist received for their charity is in parentheses):
2000 * Ruth Burton - Orange County Public Schools ($1,000) * Harold Falls - Steppin' Stone Farm, Inc. ($1,000) * Kenneth Gesell - Tampa United Methodist Centers ($1,000) * Steve Kalogridis - Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs, Inc. ($1,000) * Laura Lockwood - The ManaTEEN Club ($36,000) * Maryrose Owens - Meals on Wheels ($1,000) * Stephanie Pizarro - Hillsborough County Public Schools ($3,500) * Ernie A. Reiner, M.D. - Judeo Christian Health Center ($3,500) * Linda Unfried - MADD Hillsborough County ($1,000) * Andrew Wilson - Yellow Jackets Little League ($1,000)
2001 * Emily Brazeal - Special Olympics ($1,000) * Allan Brooks - Neighborly Senior Services ($3,500) * Abraham Brown - Abe Brown Ministries, Inc. ($3,500) * Dr. Terry Buckenheimer - Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, Inc. ($1,000) * Doug Dahl - Shriners Hospitals for Children ($1,000) * Eric Holm - The Salvation Army ($1,000) * Liz Kennedy - Child Abuse Council ($1,000) * Annette Raymund - Gulf Coast Community Care ($1,000) * Margarita Ruiz - Seminole County Legal Aid Society ($1,000) * Bill Strickland - Shriners Hospital for Children ($11,000)
2002 * Dolores Indek - Junior Achievement of Central Florida ($1,000) * Dr. Hugo Keim - ChairScholars Foundation, Inc. ($1,000) * Kaye Blanton McConnell - Drug Prevention Resource Center ($11,000) * Matthew Morton - Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast & 61C Teen Center ($1,000) * Charles Nist - MADD of Hillsborough County ($2,500) * Patricia Shelton - Morning Star School ($1,000) * Amy & Jim Shimberg - Meals on Wheels of Tampa ($2,500) * Edwin Sipowicz - Meals on Wheels of Manatee ($1,000) * Diane Wilson - The Life Center of the Suncoast, Inc. ($1,000) * John Wimberly - Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco, Inc. ($1,000)
2003 * James Garner - Best Buddies ($12,000) * Gordon Peters - Alzheimer Resource Center, Inc. ($2,000) * Jacqueline Manthos - St. Mary Catholic Church ($2,000) * Debbie Tapp - American Red Cross/Manatee Chapter ($2,000) * Jeanette DeYoung - All Children's Hospital ($2,000) * Charles Wright - Pinellas Association for Retarded Children ($2,000)