Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Warrick Dunn is being honored for his long-time service to the community. On June 24, Dunn is being inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. Dunn will join former NBA player Vlade Divac and Olympic skier Jimmie Heuga as new inductees. The trio will be paid tribute in an induction ceremony in Boise, Idaho.
Through The Warrick Dunn Foundation, the three-time Pro Bowler Dunn has given assistance to economically disadvantaged single parent families that are striving to be financially independent. In 1997, Dunn started his Home for the Holidays program. In that medium, Dunn provides down payments on fully furnished homes for single parents.
The Home for the Holidays program was started by Dunn to pay tribute to his late mother, Betty Smothers. Smothers raised Dunn and his five siblings alone, and worked two jobs as a Baton Rogue, Louisiana police officer, and a security guard. Smothers was killed in the line of duty, prior to being able to accomplish the goal of home ownership. Since its inception in 1997, the Home for the Holidays program has helped 78 single parents and 205 children get started in their own homes. The program has taken place in Tampa, Tallahassee, Atlanta, and Baton Rogue.
Dunn is the co-founder of the Athletes for Hope organization, which seeks to develop professional athletes commitment to philanthropy. In past years Dunn has visited U.S. military servicemen and servicewomen in Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany. In 2004, Dunn was given the highest honor bestowed on an NFL player for exceptional performance on the field and in the community with the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. On April 4. Dunn was presented the Byron "Whizzer" White Award by teammate Derrick Brooks. That award is named for Supreme Court Justice Byron White, and is given to the player who best represents service to the community.
The World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame honors athletes who serve as role models in the community and are active in humanitarian efforts. Past inductees include Steve Young, Tom Landry, Steve Largent, Drew Bledsoe, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Arthur Ashe, Julius Erving, Mel Blount, and Pele'.
Warren Sapp Retirement Party
Former Buccaneer great Warren Sapp is hosting a retirement party at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Saturday June 28. The proceeds from the party go to benefit the Children's Cancer Center in Tampa. The event will include family, friends, former teammates, coaches, and fans all coming together to celebrate Sapp's career.
"The city of Tampa and the fans here are the best in the world! Let's get together one last time and what better place than the Seminole Hard Rock?" said Sapp.
Food and entertainment will be provided at the event. Part of the festivities will be a tapas buffet, sushi bar, and dessert bar. The dress is upscale casual attire, and music will be done by DJ Selfborn. The party starts at 8:00p.m. and a limited amount of tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster for $75.00 each. For VIP Cabanas call 813-500-2900.
"The Children's Cancer Center is so fortunate to have the complete support of Mr. Warren Sapp for so many years," said executive director Mary Ann Massolio. "Not only financially, but lending his heart to many of our children battling childhood cancer. We thank him and honor him at this time for all of his outstanding professional accomplishments and many wonderful private contributions."
Sapp played 13 seasons in the NFL, nine for the Buccaneers. He finished his career with 96.5 sacks, seven Pro Bowls, a Super Bowl championship with Tampa Bay, and was the 1999 Defensive Player of the Year. After the 2007 season, Sapp proclaimed his retirement on his website qbkilla.com with the announcement, "I'm Done!"
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