Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell has been recognized as one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Americans" by the U.S. Jaycees. He will travel to Sioux Falls, S.D. to receive the award, which recognizes his off-the-field accomplishments.
The Ten Outstanding Young Americans project exists to recognize and honor 10 Americans each year who exemplify the best attributes of the nation's young people, ages 21 through 39. The winners are selected for their achievement or contribution in at least three of 13 areas. Brunell will be recognized for his moral and religious leadership, athletic accomplishment and for his contribution to the community.
Every year local representatives of the U.S. Jaycees nominate a young American who they feel is worthy of the TOYA award through his or her accomplishments. Tom Gibson, president of the Jacksonville chapter of the Jaycees, nominated Mark over a year ago for the award.
"I am extremely honored to be recognized by the Jaycees," said Brunell. "My faith and my family are very important to me, and as parents, we have a huge responsibility to set examples for our children. Our future depends on it."
In 1997, Mark with his wife, Stacy, established the Mark Brunell Foundation. The sole mission of the foundation is to enrich the lives of children who are terminally or critically ill. Since its inception, his foundation has raised more than $800,000 for a variety of local and national charities. More than $600,000 has been given to the Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville for a neonatal intensive care unit and for the Brunell Family Neurodiagnostic Center.
"Stacy and I are committed to helping children in our community. Through the Mark Brunell Foundation and Wolfson Children's Hospital, we are able to make a difference in Jacksonville," Brunell said. "I am grateful for this award, and thank all who were involved in my nomination. It is an honor."
Other charities that have benefited from the Mark Brunell Foundation are The Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville, Dreams Come True, the Boggy Creek Gang Camp and the Otis F. Smith Foundation.