The NFL Foundation announced the Legends Impact Grant, which recognizes the outstanding and ongoing philanthropic efforts of NFL Legends.
A new component to the NFL Foundation's Player Foundation Grant initiative, the Award supports NFL Legends' commitment to making their communities healthy, happy, and safe through their non-profit foundations.
"Philanthropy plays such a large role in NFL players' lives," said NFL Executive Director of the NFL Foundation and Senior Director of Philanthropy ALEXIA GALLAGHER. "We are proud to support these incredible NFL Legends who go above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most."
NFL Legends ALAN PAGE, BRUCE HARPER and STEVE YOUNG were selected as the inaugural winners, and were awarded $50,000, $40,000 and $30,000, respectively for their foundations. In 2018, the NFL Foundation awarded $830,000 in Player Foundation Grants to support 68 non-profit foundations led by current players and NFL Legends.
The Legend Impact Award winners were selected by a panel of distinguished individuals of the NFL Legends Community:
· 3x Pro Bowler at running back and 2004 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Winner WARRICK DUNN
· 2x AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year, current head coach at the Sayre School and NFL Legends Community Executive Director CHAD PENNINGTON
· 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, 3x First-Team All-Pro at guard and founder of the "Will to Succeed" Foundation WILL SHIELDS
· 5x Pro Bowler, 2002 First-Team All-Pro at cornerback, 2002 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Winner and NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations TROY VINCENT
· Eight-year NFL defensive back, current public speaker and coach, and NFL Legends Community Executive Director LEONARD WHEELER
ABOUT ALAN PAGE'S PAGE EDUCATION FOUNDATION
In 1988, as he was being inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame, Alan Page—Minnesota's first African American Supreme Court Justice—had an inspiration which launched the Page Education Foundation: Invite promising students of color to continue their education, ask them to mentor young children of color, and they will accept. For 30 years, the mission of the Page Education Foundation has been to create heroes through education and service by encouraging Minnesota's students of color to pursue post-secondary education. We accomplish this by granting financial assistance to students of color in higher education and fostering positive attitudes toward literacy and learning among younger school-age children of color through community service. We promote their educational success, personal responsibility, and untapped potential to become vital contributors in their communities. Our vision is to close the academic racial achievement gap in education.
ABOUT BRUCE HARPER'S HEROES & COOL KIDS FOUNDATION
Heroes & Cool Kids is an evidence-based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which is committed to youth character development through dynamic prevention-through-education programs provided to thousands of children in elementary, middle and high schools throughout NJ and NY. We combine experiential learning, inspired by professional athletes, with leadership development and mentoring. Our mission is to assist in building courage, character and perseverance in teens and pre-teens. We ignite strength and wisdom in them so that they become leaders and teachers, or whatever they dream to be. Our program was founded in 1998 by NY Jets running back Bruce Harper in three school districts and has grown to over 40, impacting well over 15,000 students in 54 high schools and 84 elementary/middle schools. It's driven by former successful athletes and accomplished individuals who train HS student leaders (Heroes) to mentor middle school students (Cool Kids) to help them overcome many of today's challenges.
ABOUT STEVE YOUNG'S THE FOREVER YOUNG FOUNDATION
The Forever Young Foundation is a non-profit, public 501-C(3) organization. The mission statement of Forever Young Foundation is passing on hope and resources for the development, strength, and education of children. Each year, through the efforts and vision of Steve and Barb Young, thousands of seriously ill, underprivileged, and at-risk youth are given therapeutic, academic, and athletic opportunities they would otherwise never receive.
ABOUT THE NFL FOUNDATION
The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit nflfoundation.org or follow @NFLFoundation on Twitter.
ABOUT THE NFL LEGENDS COMMUNITY
The NFL Legends Community, launched in 2013, provides unique opportunities and resources for Legends to engage year-round with the league, clubs and their teammates. Serving as a central resource for players to learn about programs and benefits available to them, the Legends Community uses a peer-to-peer model to foster one of the strongest brotherhoods in professional sports. Legends Community Directors and Coordinators lead the efforts across the country. To date, nearly 9,000 Legends have registered for the Legends Community.