Jacksonville, Fla. – Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen spends the majority of his offseason in his hometown of San Diego, California.
For an upcoming charitable cause, Allen will make the cross-country trek to lend his support.
Allen will serve as Honorary Chair of the 2013 Golf and Tennis Classic on Monday, March 18 at Timuquana Country Club, benefitting Daniel. Individual golf entries and foursomes and entry into the tennis portion of the event are still available by visiting www.danielkids.org. Spots are still available for both golf and tennis.
The event raises funds for Daniel, a local organization that Russell and his wife Ali have supported since his second season with the Jaguars.
"In 2010 (we) got connected through a local church," Allen said. "Basically (we were) going over there and hanging out with kids for an hour or two hours a week. We thought we were the ones who were blessed. Those kids were so amazing."
Daniel's mission is to "improve the lives of children and families." The charity provides counseling and support for abused, neglected or abandoned children in Duval County including residential services, community-based services, foster care, adoption, independent living and delinquency intervention assistance.
Daniel partners with a wide range of government agencies and community support resources including the Florida Department of Children and Families, Family Support Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the City of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Children's Commission and the United Way.
The Allens have continued to support Daniel through donations and attendance at selected events since their initial 2010 visit.
"We've always really felt a connection to the organization," Allen said.
Tournament Co-Chair Rob Loiselle and Allen reconnected during fullback Greg Jones' Lead Block Foundation "Be a Kid Again" event in September, and Loiselle used the opportunity to pitch the idea of Allen serving as honorary chair for the Daniel event.
Loiselle said that Allen is a perfect fit for honorary chair because of his past support of the organization.
"What we're excited about is not just so much the notoriety of having a Jaguar player as the honorary chair, but somebody that understands the charity," Loiselle said. "To me it's a win-win where Russell can utilize his notoriety to support a good cause that he actually believes in and that he's supported as well."
The hope for Loiselle is for the success from this year's event to carry over to future years while helping increase Allen notoriety in the community.
"Hopefully have a successful tournament this year and maybe have it continue so we can promote it throughout the year," Loiselle said. "We're trying to elevate his status, letting the fan base get to know what he's about more so off the field than on."
One major off-field question about Allen will be answered on March 18.
Is Russell Allen a good golfer?
"No. I would say I am an adequate golfer," Allen said. "I can golf well enough to not completely humiliate myself."
For more information about Daniel, call (904) 296-1055 or visit www.danielkids.org.