Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Pashos was selected as a JB Award recipient and named one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Byron "Whizzer" White Award. The award will be presented at the NFL PLAYERS Gala featuring the JB Awards at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, April 16.
The NFL Players Association and NFL PLAYERS partnered with James Brown of CBS Sports "The NFL Today" to recognize players who exemplify leadership, dedication, and commitment to team and community. All proceeds from the event benefit Special Olympics DC.
JB Award recipients are nominated by their teammates for their commitment to achieve excellence off the field, through building better communities and stronger families. Each NFL team nominated one player and the recipients were reviewed by Brown as he personally selected 10 finalists to attend the Gala. The 10 finalists were then sent to an independent panel of judges to vote on the Byron "Whizzer" White Award winner. As the NFLPA's highest honor, the award was established to acknowledge a debt a gratitude to one of the organization's own.
Pashos founded the Pashos' Pals program in November of 2007 with children from the 4th Judicial Court Guardian Ad Litem Program in Jacksonville. The mission of the Guardian Ad Litem Program is to speak for the best interests of abused, abandoned and neglected children in the courts. The organization promotes and supports quality volunteer representation for children to provide each child a safe, permanent, nurturing home.
The Pashos' Pals program was designed to help motivate the children to excel in academics and in life by helping build long-lasting relationships. Pashos worked with the Guardian Ad Litem Program to choose 20 children who attend monthly workshops, sporting events and field trips to various venues in the Jacksonville area. The events expose the group to a variety of educational, cultural and community service activities throughout the year. Pashos has taken responsibility for the costs of the entire program. In the past 16 months, the group has enjoyed several events and outings including:
• A visit to Florida Coastal Law School, the Cummer Museum and the University of North Florida.
• A trip to watch a Jacksonville Jaguars regular season game.
• A holiday shopping spree at Dick's Sporting Goods for two consecutive years.
• A training camp practice visit where the group met several players and had lunch on the field.
• Bowling with the 2008 Jaguars Rookie Class.
• A special trip to Adventure Landing at Jacksonville Beach to ride go-carts and play video games and miniature golf.
• Dinner at Maggiano's, Applebees and Pizza Palace