Natalie Wade, wife of Buccaneer C John Wade, helped out in the Festival's popular face-painting area
Even though temperatures were still hitting the 80s, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Women's Organization ushered in the autumn on Saturday with their annual Fall Festival for Bay area youth groups.
The weather may have given the event a summer feel, but the football drills and Halloween candy bags were obvious reminders that fall is upon us. Children from Florida Baptist Children's Home, Joshua House, Redlands Christian Migrant Association, The Children's Home, The Spring of Tampa Bay and YMCA of the Suncoast were invited to Raymond James Stadium this past Saturday where they participated in the Gatorade Junior Training Camp, got their faces painted, posed for pictures with Captain Fear on the pirate ship and enjoyed arts and crafts projects.
Members of the Buccaneers Women's Organization, which consists of wives, fiancées and girlfriends of Buccaneers players, coaches and staff members, served as hostesses for the day's activities. Some women helped the kids run through football drills on the field while others painted faces and assisted the kids in decorating their wooden picture frames in the arts and crafts area.
DeeAnn Becht, wife of Buccaneers TE Anthony Becht, had a great time tossing the ball around with the kids as part of the Touchdown Dance drill. During the drill, the kids had to jump over obstacles and run around some cones before reaching the "end zone," where Becht threw them the ball. After catching the ball, the kids got a chance to show off their best touchdown dances.
"This is just great," said Becht. "The kids have such big smiles on their faces, and you can tell they're having a great time."
Buccaneers spirit was evident among the crowd as most kids got "Go Bucs!" or "Bucs Rock!" painted on their faces, arms and legs. The kids weren't the only ones having fun, as Buccaneers Women's Organization members wore wide smiles themselves.
"The Women's Organization hosts this event every year," said Cindy Gruden, wife of Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden. "The kids have a great time, and we have an even better time."