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Ryan Fitzpatrick, Teammates Visit MacDill AFB for Salute to Service, a Juvenile Detention Center Visit and a Gaming Night with Will Gholston | Bucs Community Impact Nov. 13

X Marks the Spotlight: Gerald McCoy

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was this week’s Community MVP. McCoy has been ingrained in the Tampa Bay community since he was drafted here in 2010. He’s been a part of countless community outreach initiatives in those years, including annual events that are spearheaded by the defensive lineman himself. For instance, every year he and his fellow linemates put on the ‘D-line Delivers Christmas’ event, during which they take underserved families on a shopping spree at Target, among other surprises. Additionally, McCoy and his family put on the ‘McCoy Family Christmas’ event, aimed at helping single-parent households enjoy the holidays, which is a personal cause for McCoy.

He’s also done various one-off events and every time a new Avengers movie comes out, he rents out an entire theater and invites various non-profit groups to come enjoy the show on him. He is always a major donor in the Bucs’ Cut for a Cure event that benefits the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, as well.

Most recently, McCoy has served on the Players’ Social Justice Board as part of the Buccaneers Social Justice Initiative. The player-led initiative aims to address social issues and challenges and create meaningful change. McCoy was on hand for the inaugural event at the Tampa Police Citizen’s Training Academy, where players and police had an open dialogue and were taken through training drills.

With the holiday season coming up, look for McCoy’s involvement to make the season a little more bright for Bay-area families.

Players Visit Incarcerated Youth at Juvenile Detention Center

It was the third event in the Social Justice Initiative’s calendar and this time players visited incarcerated youth at a high-risk facility in Hillsborough county. There, players held open discussions about success, overcoming adversity and faith in breakout groups. They even opened up the floor to questions and not shying away from tough answers.

One group even got homework courtesy of quarterback Jameis Winston. He encouraged each boy to write down a small step that he could take in the right direction starting immediately. Then, as the boys exited the room, players went over each child’s answers with them one-on-one, peppering in words of encouragement as they took time with each.

“The biggest thing about all of it is just perseverance,” defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches said about what he hoped the boys would take away from the day. “Being able to overcome anything that you’re going through. Where I’m at now doesn’t determine where I’m going to be in the future, you know?”

Then, it was time to have some fun with football drills outside. Boy after boy lined up to catch a pass from Winston as he continued to sling pass after pass in the sand pit. To read the full feature, visit TheAthletic.com.

Visit to MacDill Air Force Base

In advance of the Bucs’ Salute to Service game this past Sunday, Buccaneers players visited MacDill Air Force Base located here in Tampa. While there, they got to take a tour of a KC-135 air-refueling tanker and learned just how these machines refuel fighter jets in mid-air.

They also got to go inside Central Command and learn about the efforts the men and women inside the literal war room put in on a daily basis. The players were also addressed by one of the Generals on base and witnessed a taser and K-9 training demonstration. After they were done learning, it was time for a meet-and-greet, along with a raffle with base personnel. Players signed autographs, took pictures and gave out Bucs tickets and experiences to end the afternoon.

Will Gholston Holds Gaming Night for At-Risk Youth

Defensive end Will Gholston hosted a night of video games, pizza and treats for children who have been displaced from their homes due to crisis. Gholston and many of his fellow defensive linemates, like Beau Allen and Vita Vea, challenged kids to various video games and spent the evening with them at a local GameStop, aiming to bring just a fun and carefree evening to local youth.

"I just wanted to put smiles on the kids faces and wanted to do something I loved and share it. So, video games," Gholston said with a smile.

Bucs Rookies Bring Treats to Moffitt Patients for Halloween

The Buccaneers’ Rookie Club got in the Halloween spirit and went ‘reverse’ trick-or-treating to patients at Moffitt Cancer Center, bringing candy and conversation to each hospital room.

They also took some time to run drills with the Moffitt Healthy KIDZ program, which included kids currently battling cancer.

Players Help Out at Hurricane Michael Relief Drive

The Bucs did their part on their off day to help gather supplies donated by the local community in support of the panhandle after it was hit hard by Hurricane Michael. Players like Vinny Curry, Donovan Smith and Riley Bullough helped load trucks and give out Bucs flags to fans who donated toward the cause.

What’s on Deck:

11/13: Jr. Bucs Flag Football visit – Bucs players will be visiting a local school to help launch the Jr. Bucs flag football program

11/20: Turkey Time with the O-line – The Buccaneers’ offensive line will be handing out full Thanksgiving meals to underserved families in the Tampa Bay area in this annual event

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