Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen has been named the Jacksonville Jaguars/Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Community Leader of the Year for 2009. As a result, daniel will receive a $6,000 check on Allen's behalf from team sponsor Morgan Stanley.
The Jaguars partnered once again with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to sponsor the Community Leader Award. The award, presented monthly last season, is designed to recognize those Jaguars players making an impact in the Jacksonville community.
Allen was one of four players to receive consideration for their commitment to community involvement. The other players were running back Maurice Jones-Drew, center Brad Meester and defensive tackle Atiyyah Ellison. The four players were named monthly winners last season, previously directing $1,000 donations to local non-profit organizations.
Allen spent his rookie season visiting a local juvenile detention center monthly and sometimes several times a month. The center houses juveniles for crimes that range from weapon charges, assault and drug arrests. Allen also made numerous visits to daniel and has expanded his role in 2010 by making weekly visits to the home to speak to the children.
Jones-Drew established the Maurice Jones-Drew Foundation in 2009 to help youth-focused organizations. The Pro Bowl running back hosted several events last year and provided support to numerous organizations. He purchased more than 100 sets of Reebok shoes, gloves and compression shorts for members of the Andrew Jackson High School varsity football team. In addition, he provided backpacks full of school supplies for more than 200 area children. The foundation hosted more than 75 children from the Sulzbacher Center's aftercare program at Toys "R" Us for a special shopping spree.
Meester joined forces with Guardian ad Litem in Jacksonville to create Brad's Buddies, a program to provide opportunities for abused and neglected children. Meester and his wife, Jamie, provide a monthly outing for the group with past events such as dinner at Maggiano's, a shopping spree at Wal-Mart and a visit to the Jacksonville Zoo.
No player was more involved in the community than Ellison in 2009. Ellison represented the Jaguars at nearly 50 events a year ago. He visited numerous area elementary schools to read to students and was a strong supporter of Teacher Appreciation Week. He participated both financially and in person at the 2009 Shop with a Jock event at Wal-Mart where more than 50 area children were treated to a shopping spree.