In recognition of NFL PLAY 60, The Oakland Raiders hosted a group of local children on-field for player introductions and the National Anthem this past Sunday when they faced the Washington Redskins at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Students from Oakland's Burckhalter Elementary School were selected for their commitment to the Raiders Junior Training Camp program and they wore special PLAY 60 jerseys on game day.
To support NFL PLAY 60, all Thanksgiving weekend games focused on raising awareness of the childhood obesity epidemic and showcasing the NFL and its clubs' commitment to help reverse this trend. Beginning on Thanksgiving Day and continuing in weeks 12 through 14, teams are designating a home game as an "NFL PLAY 60" game. On-field elements include PLAY 60 field stencils, banners, and goal post wraps.
"The Oakland Raiders are proud to recognize local children who have demonstrated a commitment to good health and we encourage all young people to 'play 60' throughout the year," said Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask.
Thanksgiving weekend games also included a special NFL PLAY 60 public service announcement featuring PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAand NFL players playing a friendly game of touch football and reminding fans about the importance of being active. Filmed on the White House lawn earlier this month by NFL Films, the PSA also encourages viewers to get involved in their communities and remember the importance of service, as part of the White House's United We Serve *platform. [Links to the spot are posted on www.nfl.com/thanksgiving and www.serve.gov.*]
Fans can visit NFLRUSH.com/Play60 or Serve.gov to learn about volunteer opportunities and how they can help kids stay active and healthy in their communities.
In addition, a local park will receive a grant for improvements courtesy of the Raiders and NFL Charities. Josie De La Cruz Park, located in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood, will receive improvements and upgrades thanks in part to a $35,000 Youth Fitness Zone Program Grant from NFL Charities.
"We are pleased to help our local and regional communities secure grants for youth related programs and facilities," said Trask. "In the last two years alone, we have worked with the NFL to help our local and regional communities secure approximately $375,000 in grants of this nature."
The Youth Fitness Zone Grant, awarded by the Oakland Raiders and NFL Charities, is part of the NFL's commitment to health and fitness. Since its inception, NFL Charities has granted more than $120 million to more than 642 different organizations.
Since 2007, the Unity Council, a local non-profit that assists families in moving out of poverty by providing comprehensive programs of economic, social, and neighborhood development, has worked to improve the grounds of Josie De La Cruz Park. The improvement project includes the addition of a new basketball court, lighting for increased security, seating areas for families, and a new entry to make the park more inviting.
The communities surrounding the park have been longing for renovation to their park and specifically improving amenities for children's use. By improving the park, the neighborhood benefits from added recreational opportunities that will promote physical and social well-being and help build a stronger community as a result.
The Oakland Raiders have teamed up with the United States Marine Corps once again for Toys for Tots. TE Zach Miller and WRs Chaz Schilens and Louis Murphy signed autographs in exchange toy donations The Raider Image at NewPark Mall in Newark this past Monday.
DE Richard Seymour, CB Chris Johnson and Hall of Fame cornerback and current assistant coach Willie Brown will sign autographs in exchange for toy donations at the Southland Mall Raider Image in Hayward TODAY from 6-8 p.m.
**Toys for Tots Group Tickets:
Groups of 10 or more can buy tickets to the 1/3/10 Raiders home game, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Toys for Tots program. This offer is only available by calling 1-800-RAIDERS.
Earlier this year, the Richmond Children's Foundation, and its partners the City of Richmond and the Association of Sports Field Users received a $200,000 grant as part of the National Football League Grassroots Program. The grant, awarded by the Raiders, the NFL Youth Football Fund, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), is part of the NFL Grassroots Program awards. It is being used to install artificial turf at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park football field.
This new football field is at the heart of the Nystrom United Revitalization Effort (NURVE), a community effort to revitalize the Nystrom neighborhood. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center and Park is the primary community facility that serves numerous youth in this area. The football field links two adjacent schools and will serve as the centerpiece of the neighborhood.
The Oakland Raiders and the NFL also have been involved with the award of $140,000 in grants toward youth field refurbishments in the East Bay. Willie Wilkins Park and Ernie Raimondi Field in Oakland as well as San Leandro's Burrell Field are benefitting from the Silver and Black's community involvement.
The official groundbreaking ceremony for the initial phase of upgrades at Willie Wilkins Park took place in January. The park is located in Oakland's Elmhurst neighborhood. The park is receiving improvements thanks in part to the $40,000 Youth Fitness Zone Program Grant from The Oakland Raiders and NFL Charities.
Last June, the football field at Oakland's Ernie Raimondi Field got new bleachers thanks in part to a $50,000 grant from the NFL Grassroots Program. The grant, awarded by the Oakland Raiders, the NFL Youth Football Fund, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), was part of $5.43 million in field refurbishment awards allocated to community groups in areas surrounding the 32 NFL markets.
In addition, the Raiders have been involved with California State Parks and the California State Parks Foundation for the past two years, promoting outdoor recreation and youth fitness. The Raiders' unique relationship with California State Parks and The California State Parks Foundation involves teaming up to help families and children connect with their natural environment. The Raiders and California State parks have and will continue to join in events throughout the state to promote outdoor recreation and physical fitness.
The Raiders' ever expanding programs associated with the organization's commitment to youth and family initiatives are listed on the team's website under Raidersforkids.com. Programs for youngsters administered by the Raiders include:
• The Raider Rookie Zone: The interactive area for kids at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where young fans are able to participate in a variety of family focused activities during the season beginning two hours before kickoff. Kids of all ages can jump in a Raider inflatable bounce house, throw a touchdown pass, kick a field goal, or solve puzzles and color while sitting at child-sized picnic tables. Community sponsors of the Raider Rookie Zone include Chabot Space & Science Center and The Oakland Zoo. These community sponsors are present throughout the Raider Rookie Zone and each offers a unique learning experience to young fans.
• Raidersforkids.com:The site contains many exciting activities for youngsters, including news and coloring pages.
• Youth Skills Camp: The camp is designed to encourage boys and girls, ages 8-14, to participate in and enjoy the game of football. The camp is organized and structured to provide every participant, regardless of skill level, with the same top-notch instruction by Raiders players and coaches, along with Bay Area high school and college coaches.
• Punt, Pass & Kick Program:The program has given many current NFL stars a beginning to their football careers. With more than four million girls and boys from around the country taking part in the competition every year from July through January, it is one of the world's largest youth sports participation programs. Girls and boys, ages 8-15, compete against each other in punting, passing, and place kicking in four separate age divisions (8-9, 10-11, 12-13, and 14-15).
• Flag Football: The National Football League has official youth leagues for kids 6-14 years old. This program gives boys and girls the opportunity to play in an organized non-contact football league and the chance to compete in the NFL FLAG Regional Tournaments around the country in October. Winners from the tournaments advance to the NFL FLAG National Tournament of Champions at DISNEY'S WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS® Complex in January.
• The Junior Raiderettes: The program is open to young people of all ability levels, between the ages of 7 and 15, and provides fun and motivational challenges where youngsters can strengthen their talents, abilities, and confidence in a non-competitive environment.
• High School Coach of the Week:The Oakland Raiders' High School "Coach of the Week" program promotes high school football by giving high school coaches and teams the recognition that they deserve. Designed to honor coaches who have created successful programs for teams and players, both on and off of the playing field, the "Coach of the Week" program provides teams with financial assistance to maintain their football programs.
During each week of the high school season, The Oakland Raiders select one high school coach as the "Coach of the Week" winner, and a High School Coach of the Year at the end of the season.
• Gatorade Junior Training Camp Program:The program is available to elementary schools, recreation centers, and other non-profit organizations for clinics. A Junior Training Camp features the educational and recreational benefits of football presented in a safe and fun environment. The camp's curriculum is very safe and was developed by Gatorade so that any student can participate – regardless of age, gender, ability, or experience. **
About NFL PLAY 60 **
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed $200 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for PSAs. **
About NFL Charities: **
NFL Charities is a non-profit organization created by the 32 member clubs of the National Football League to enable the teams to collectively make grants to charitable and worthwhile causes on a national scale. Since its inception, NFL Charities has granted more than $120 million to more than 642 different organizations. **
About Toys For Tots **
According to their web site, the mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
Toys for Tots Began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks, USCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. From 1947 through 1979, Marines collected and distributed new and used toys. On Reserve drill weekends during October, November and December, Reserve Marines refurbished the used toys. From Christmas 1980 through the present, Marines have collected and distributed only new toys.