More than 20 participants in the Wounded Warrior Project TRACK program were treated to a special afternoon on Tuesday at the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
The group toured the facility and had the opportunity to mingle with players and staff. Strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson, head athletic trainer Mike Ryan, video director Mike Perkins and equipment manager Drew Hampton each gave a special presentation to the group. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew autographed a football for each person.
Following a tour of the locker room, the group was greeted on the field by Jaguars general manager Gene Smith and several players. Tiquan Underwood, Jarett Dillard, Nate Hughes, Brian Witherspoon, Jordan Black, Zach Potter and Cameron Stephenson were on hand to greet the group.
The Wounded Warrior Project provides unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.
The TRACK program was launched in August 2008 to offer wounded warriors an opportunity for education and training. Each student receives a scholarship, which provides all class fees, books, materials, and a laptop, as well as housing and living expenses. Each student is required to save a portion of their pay, which is invested and returned to them with interest upon the completion of the program.
Landri and teammates support charity golf event
##### Feeding the homeless
Clara White Mission had three special "waiters" on Tuesday to help serve lunch to more than 300 homeless people. Cornerback Scott Starks, offensive lineman Maurice Williams and cornerback Tyron Brackenridge assisted the organization as they served hot meals.
Starks has been heavily involved with Clara White Mission since joining the Jaguars in 2005. He has hosted the Scott Starks "Stars & Strikes" bowling event the last two years to benefit the organization and is a regular on Tuesdays to help distribute meals.
Brad's Buddies to attend Sunday's game
Center Brad Meester has the "Brad's Buddies" program up and running. The program provides opportunities for abused and neglected children from the Guardian ad Litem program.
Meester and his wife, Jamie, hosted the group for dinner at Maggiano's in the St. John's Town Center in October. The Meesters purchased tickets to Sunday's game for the group and they will have the opportunity to be on the field prior to the game.
##### Players speak at FCAT Pep Rally
Rookies Derek Cox, William Middleton and Rashad Jennings headlined an FCAT pep rally for students on Tuesday at S.A. Hull Elementary School.
The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is part of Florida's overall plan to increase student achievement by implementing higher standards. The players stressed the importance of preparing for the test in February and placing a major emphasis on their school work.
Monroe speaks at Red Ribbon event
Rookie offensive tackle Eugene Monroe visited W.E. Cherry Elementary School on Tuesday in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week. Monroe spoke to the students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. He concluded the event by answering questions from the students.
##### Players visit Liberty Pines Academy
Defensive lineman Atiyyah Ellison, linebacker Russell Allen and defensive tackle Terrance Knighton made a special visit to Liberty Pines Academy on Tuesday. The school's assistant principal, Judith Thayer, is a 15-year season-ticket holder. After addressing students, the players stopped by Thayer's office to thank her for the continued support.
15th annual food drive
The 15th annual Jaguars Food Drive stadium collection will take place on Sunday at the Chiefs game with fans encouraged to bring non-perishable foods. The first 2,500 fans who donate food or cash at the game will receive a Jaguars giveaway.
The Second Harvest Food Bank of North Florida, Northeast Florida's regional food bank, will again serve as the central resource of receiving and distributing the donated food to 18 area counties and 515 non-profit organizations feeding those who hunger.
Donations will be accepted at each of the stadium's six main gates including both East and West Club entrances starting at 10:30 am. Sunday.