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Super Bowl XLVIII: Thirty-five events in NYC, New Jersey area

  • By National Football League
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NEW YORK -- Super Bowl XLVIII brings much more than football to New York and New Jersey. Throughout the weeks preceding the game, more than 35 charitable activities and community outreach events will enliven and enrich the community and provide lasting legacies.

Super Bowl Week activities will also include the announcement of the annual Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the presentation of the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award, and a series of community projects made possible by Super Bowl Legacy Grants from the NFL Foundation and NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee.

The following are just some of the ways the NFL and Super Bowl XLVIII will benefit the community. Player names will be added in the coming weeks in relevant media advisories.

SUPER BOWL XLVIII ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM

The NFL Environmental Program has developed a series of initiatives to minimize the impact of Super Bowl activities on the local and global environment and benefit the host community. Environmental projects are developed in partnership with the NY/NJ Super Bowl XLVIII Host Committee and local, state and national organizations. These initiatives include:

Solid Waste Management/Recycling -- Comprehensive solid waste management at major NFL event facilities. This project diverts waste from local landfills through recycling and reusing potential waste materials. Sites include MetLife Stadium, Super Bowl Boulevard, the Super Bowl Media Center and the hotels serving as team headquarters. At MetLife Stadium, food waste will be composted to further reduce the waste stream from Super Bowl Sunday. In addition to solid waste recycling, two E-Waste recycling events were held earlier this month in partnership with Verizon and the Broadway Green Alliance in Fairlawn, NJ and in Times Square.

Prepared Food Recovery -- Extra prepared food from Super Bowl XLVIII events will be collected for donation in partnership with rock and Wrap It Up, a national nonprofit food recovery organization. Food recovered through this effort will go to soup kitchens, shelters and other local organizations that provide meals to those in need.

Materials Donation -- Decorative materials, building materials, office supplies and other reusable items will be recovered in partnership with local community organizations. Some materials are appropriate for reuse, while others will be used as fund raising auction items or remanufactured into new products.

Sports Equipment and Book Donation Project -- The Super Kids-Super Sharing Sports Equipment and Book Donation project was developed in partnership with the New York Jets, New York Giants, the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, Verizon and public and private schools in New York and New Jersey. Local students bring gently used or new books, sports equipment and school supplies to their schools. These items are then collected and donated to preselected local schools and organizations serving children in need. Super Kids collection events were held in New Jersey at Essex County College and in New York at Riverbank State Park.

Climate Change Initiative -- Steps being taken to reduce the overall greenhouse gas impact of Super Bowl activities and events include:

»Use of renewable energy offsets to "green" the power usage at major Super Bowl XLVIII event venues including MetLife Stadium, the Super Bowl XLVIII Media Center, Super Bowl Boulevard and the AFC and NFC team hotels. These energy offsets are provided by host committee sponsor PSEG, a New Jersey-based energy company.

»Use of biodiesel blended fuel to power remote generators at Super Bowl Boulevard, the largest public event at Super Bowl XLVIII and at MetLife Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLVIII.

»More than 27,000 trees have been planted across New Jersey and New York to add to the overall "greening" of the Super Bowl host community and to repair some of the damage done by Hurricane Sandy. One of these events, at Rockaway Community Park in Queens, was the largest single tree-planting event in NYC history. NFL sponsor Verizon provided support for this project.

YOU MAKE THE CALL:

LEARN TO BE AN NFL OFFICIAL AT THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM OF MANHATTAN

The Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) partnered with the NFL to create a new interactive experience called You Make the Call: Learn to be An NFL Official in time for Super Bowl XLVIII. The multimedia exhibit and program, which gives children and their families a look into the world of NFL officials, is currently open at CMOM (212 West 83rd St., New York, NY) and runs through February 2014.

You Make the Call: Learn to be An NFL Official will also help families understand how developing both executive function skills including planning, organizing, and focusing on task, and physical fitness lead to valuable leadership and social success. The exhibit and programs will emphasize the process of developing critical thinking skills that lead to making more informed decisions.

Visitors will have the chance to go "under the hood" and make the correct call in the "You Make the Call" booth -- a stylized rendition of the sideline instant replay systems used by real NFL officials. Other exhibit highlights include an NFL Play 60 video kiosk and obstacle course to help inspire kids to be more active and healthy; a look at how the uniforms worn by the officials have changed over time; and a sneak peek inside the NFL's control room in Manhattan where officiating personnel monitor all games.

You Make the Call: Learn to be An NFL Official also features daily and weekly programming and clinics, including the NFL's PLAY 60 initiative, which encourages kids to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Children can also participate in a "Zebra Dance," which is a combination of different officiating call signals and trendy dance moves in a fun dance number.

NFL PLAY 60 CHALLENGE SCHOOL VISITS

As part of NFL PLAY 60, the league's youth health and fitness campaign, NFL players, including New York Jets' Kyle Wilson (Quibbletown) and Jaiquawn Jarrett (Essence) and New York Giants' Steve Weatherford (Essence), will visit three different schools to reward them for successfully completing the Super Bowl XLVIII edition of the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge. The NFL hosted a special fitness activity on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at Quibbletown Middle School (99 Academy St., Piscataway, NJ 08854). NFL PLAY 60 school visits will also take place on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at Essence School (590 Sheffield Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11207) and Tuesday, Jan. 28 at Skillman School (24-30 Skillman Ave., New York, NY 11101) from 9:30 -- 11:00 a.m. The NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, developed in conjunction with the American Heart Association, is the primary in-school curriculum for NFL PLAY 60. Sixth-grade students at the three schools successfully completed the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, a Super Bowl program that taught students the importance of getting 60 minutes of daily physical activity.

In total, more than 10,000 6th graders from the New York, New Jersey area participated in the Challenge in the months leading up to Super Bowl week. Xbox, on behalf of the NFL, will be donating Kinect Bundles to 25 schools that successfully completed the Challenge.

In addition to their school visit on Jan. 28, Skillman School will also receive a $2,500 NFL PLAY 60 grant to be used to support the school's health and fitness education efforts. Marlton Middle School in Marlton, NJ and Monroe Township Middle School in Monroe Township, NJ also will receive $2,500 grants for their exceptional participation in the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge.

48 DESIGNER SUPER BOWL HELMETS ON NFL AUCTION TO BENEFIT NFL FOUNDATION

Forty-eight unique Super Bowl XLVIII helmets were unveiled in the iconic Bloomingdales' 59th Street windows (1000 3rd Ave., New York, NY) on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 5:00 p.m. The helmets, available for bidding on NFL Auction Jan. 15 through Feb. 5, are on display throughout the auction. The auction will be held in collaboration with Bloomingdales and The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), with 100% of the net proceeds benefiting the NFL Foundation.

The NFL Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football. Through its grant programs, the Foundation supports youth and high school football programs, health and safety efforts such as Heads Up Football, and community health initiatives, including NFL PLAY 60.

SUPER BOWL XLVIII ONE WORLD SUPER HUDDLE

New Jersey and New York area fifth graders will learn about the differences that make them unique and the similarities that bring them together as part of the NFL's diversity program "One World: Connecting Communities, Cultures, and Classrooms." On Monday, Jan. 27 from 10:00 a.m. -- 1:00 p.m., 10 classes from varying ethnic and racial backgrounds who have been communicating with each other through pen-pal letters will meet for the first time at the Liberty Science Center at Liberty State Park (222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 07305).

Together, they will participate in a series of workshops that incorporate both science and cultural themes. Students also will have the opportunity to learn more about their pen pals and interact with NFL players.

Local schools participating in the One World event are as follows: South Street School (Newark, NJ); Memorial Middle School (Little Ferry, NJ); Calabro School (Little Ferry, NJ); Robert L. Craig Elementary (Moonachie, NJ); Samsel Upper Elementary School (Parlin, NJ); P.S. 069 Journey Prep School (Bronx, NY); P.S. 119 Amersfort (Brooklyn, NY); P.S. 029 Bardwell (Staten Island, NY); P.S. 254 -- The Rosa Parks School (Queens, NY) and P.S. 024 (Brooklyn, NY).

SUPER BOWL LEGACY GRANT EVENTS

As it does every year, the NFL seeks to improve the surrounding communities of the Super Bowl host city with a financial donation. This year, the NFL Foundation provided a $1 million grant to the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee's Snowflake Youth Foundation to fund charitable projects throughout New York and New Jersey to provide children with places to be active and healthy. This grant was matched by the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee for a total of $2 million.

Many of the refurbishment projects have focused on areas that suffered major damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

On Monday, Jan. 27, at 4 p.m., NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee President & CEO Alfred F. Kelly Jr., New York Jets' owner Woody Johnson and New York Giants' treasurer Jonathan Tisch, Co-Chairman of the Board, Loews Corporation, will be among those to unveil and celebrate major renovations at the Boys and Girls Club of Newark (BGCN) Central Ward Clubhouse (1 Avon Ave., Newark, NJ 07108). The Club is a full-service community center that offers educational programs and athletic activities for local youth. Through the Super Bowl Legacy Grant the Club was able to renovate its gymnasium and welcome area. A press conference and tour of the renovated facility will be held.

On Thursday, Jan. 30 at 3 p.m., NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee President & CEO ALFRED F. KELLY, JR., New York Jets' owner Woody Johnson and New York Giants' treasurer Jonathan Tisch will take part in a press conference at Boys and Girls High School in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn (1700 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11213) to unveil the school’s new football field. The Super Bowl Legacy Grant provided funding for resurfacing of the field, including replacing all turf, goal posts and soccer goals. The field will be used by students as well as the surrounding community.

Following the press conference, media are invited to observe a Heads Up Football clinic that will be held on the new field. Heads Up Football was launched in April 2013 by USA Football with the NFL's support. Now adopted by more than 2,800 youth leagues across the country, the initiative includes a focus on education and certification, equipment fitting, concussion recognition and awareness, heat and hydration and Heads Up Tackling.

The NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation (www.snowflakeyouthfoundation.org) is a 501c3 created by the NY/NJ Host Committee to carry out the charitable legacy work done annually by the NFL Foundation and the local Host Committee.

A list of all projects being funded in part by the NFL Foundation's $1 million grant is below. For more information on these projects, please visit www.superbowl.com.

»The Sandy Ground -- Playground Builds

»The Sandy Ground is a project designed to memorialize the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings as well as to benefit communities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy by building 26 playgrounds in areas, one for each Sandy Hook victim, where play areas were destroyed during the hurricane. Three playgrounds were constructed using funds from the NFL Foundation:

»Bridgeport, CT, built in memory of Josephine Gay

»Belmar, NJ, built in memory of Avielle Richman

»Roxbury, NY, built in memory of Mary Sherlach

»BCAC Shamrocks Heads Up Football League -- Youth Football Equipment Donation (Broad Channel, Queens)

»Boys and Girls Club Central Ward -- Renovation (Newark, NJ)

»Boys and Girls High School – Football Field Refurbishment (Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn)

»Caven Point Field -- Refurbishment (Jersey City, NJ)

»Educational Alliance Boys & Girls Club -- Indoor/Outdoor Play Area Refurbishment (Lower East Side, Manhattan)

»Hammel Community Center -- Refurbishment (Far Rockaway, Queens)

»Highlands Recreation Center -- Restoration (Highlands, NJ)

»Kipps Bay Boys & Girls Club Field -- Restoration (Bronx)

»Mahoney Playground -- Refurbishment (Staten Island)

»Rahway Community Action Center -- Playroom Build (Rahway, NJ)

»Sayreville Leprechauns Heads Up Football League -- Youth Football Equipment Donation (Sayreville, NJ)

»TEAM Charter School -- Turf Football Field Build (Newark, NJ)

»YCS George Washington School -- Gym Refurbishment (Hackensack, NJ)

NFL PLAY 60 CHARACTER CAMP AND HEALTHY COOKING DEMO

On Tuesday, Jan. 28 from 4-7 p.m., the NFL will host a healthy cooking demonstration for 200 predominantly-

Hispanic youth who are involved in the NFL's biggest in-school program, Fuel Up to Play 60. The event, led by celebrity chef Aaron Sánchez and supported by Fuel Up to Play 60, will follow a 90-minute NFL PLAY 60 Character Camp, led by Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Muñoz . The NFL PLAY 60 Character Camps program is a partnership between the NFL and the Muñoz Agency that teaches predominantly-Hispanic youth non-contact football skills, the importance of exercise, and elements of character that are applicable in both athletics and life through a series of camps in NFL markets. This NFL PLAY 60-themed event, with a combined focus on football, exercise and nutrition, is designed to be a fun, active and engaging experience for NY/NJ-area Hispanic youth. Chef Sánchez, Anthony Muñoz and participating NFL players will speak to the youth about the importance of exercise, proper nutrition and healthy diet.

The event will take place at Chelsea Waterside Park (11th Ave. between 23rd and 24th Street, New York, NY 10011).

NFL PLAY 60-SCHOLASTIC READ & RISE EVENT WITH UNITED WAY

NFL PLAY 60 and Scholastic have been working together for the last three years to hold week-long Scholastic Read & Rise™ Book Fairs at schools across the country to help put books into the hands of children who need them most, predominantly in Hispanic-populated communities.

The NFL and Scholastic, along with NFL partner United Way will host a special Super Bowl XLVIII literacy event at PS 34 (730 East 12 St., New York, NY), which will include a week-long Scholastic Book Fair and a Family Night event that will include special reading sessions with United Way Team NFL players, an NFL PLAY 60 activity event with celebrity trainer Ari Nunez and a bilingual parent-focused session. As part of the event, NFL PLAY 60 will donate a reading certificate to every student to purchase a new book at the Scholastic Book Fair.

The NFL PLAY 60 Scholastic Read & Rise Family Night, which will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 28 from 5:00 -- 7:30 p.m., will educate parents and students about the importance of bringing a healthy lifestyle into their homes, as well as ways to build a library and raise a reader at home. While parents attend the literacy workshop, students will experience a 30-mintue NFL PLAY 60 clinic or fun, engaging reading sessions led by "United Way TEAM NFL" members Glover Quin(Detroit Lions) and Vinny Rey (Cincinnati Bengals). United Way TEAM NFL is a group of players from across the League committed to improving kids' lives by recruiting more volunteer readers, tutors and mentors with United Way. Afterward, parents and students will reunite for a Klutz Build-a-Book activity, where they will create their very own book together.

SUPER BOWL BOULEVARD ENGINEERED BY GMC

The NFL will transform 13 blocks (34th St. -- 47th St.) of Broadway into Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered by GMC -- the epicenter for NFL fans in New York City during Super Bowl week, celebrating all things football. Super Bowl Boulevard will be open from 12:00 -- 10:00 p.m. daily, Wednesday, Jan. 29 -- Saturday, Feb. 1.

Fans can embrace the cold and take a ride through Times Square on the 60-foot high and 180-foot long Toboggan Run Engineered by GMC. Visitors also may stop by the Vince Lombardi Trophy display or capture a photo in front of the 20-foot tall Super Bowl XLVIII Roman Numerals before visiting some NFL greats at the concert stage for free autographs from 12:00 -- 5:00 p.m. daily. At 8:30 p.m., the stage will come alive with some of the best musical talent the region has to offer.

Visitors can also enjoy the Super Bowl Virtual Theater, an immersive experience with stunning visuals and a powerful soundtrack that highlights the excitement of the NFL and bring the soul and spirit of both New York and New Jersey to life on the façade of Macy's Herald Square. The 10-minute film will run every 30 minutes from 5:00 -- 9:30 p.m. from Wednesday, Jan. 29 -- Saturday, Feb. 1.

The kid-friendly NFL Rush Zone tent, open 12:00 - 10:00 p.m. daily, and NFL PLAY Field, open 12:00-5:00 p.m. daily, offers attractions for children, allowing participants to stay active and healthy in any weather while having fun on the field and experience the animated world of the NFL RUSH ZONE where kids will be able to take a picture with their favorite NFL team rusher, view clips of episodes from season three of the show and learn more about their favorite teams and players.

As a recognition of their hard work on the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, kids from IS 383-Philippa Schuyler Middle School in Brooklyn and NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid, Thomas Brown, will be among the first kids on Super Bowl Boulevard and will take a run down the Toboggan and help open the NFL PLAY 60 Field on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 11 a.m.

Brown, the NFL PLAY 60 Super Bowl contest grand prize winner who plays NFL FLAG Football and enjoys family walks and bike rides, wrote about his admiration for Troy Polamalu and the way he carries his fandom with him during family moves around the country. Brown's father, Shannon, is an active duty Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps who flies FA-18 fighter jets. As part of his grand prize, Thomas will help kickoff Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, Feb. 2 when he delivers the game ball to the officiating crew during pregame.

Fans also can visit the Field Goal Kick on 46th Street and attempt to kick a football over the crossbars at "The Crossroads of the World."

All Super Bowl Boulevard attractions are free and open to the public with the exception of the toboggan. Tickets for the Toboggan Run Engineered by GMC go on sale on Wednesday, Jan. 22, for $5 through www.Ticketmaster.com. All proceeds will benefit MillionTreesNYC, a charitable initiative led by NYC Parks and the New York Restoration Project.

Super Bowl Boulevard will also include a 36,000 square-foot NFL Shop at Super Bowl in Macy’s Herald Square. The Shop will be open beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 22. The iconic windows of Macy's Herald Square also will feature NFL-themed visuals.

Complete information on Super Bowl Boulevard's schedule of events, attractions, player appearances and more can be found at www.superbowl.com. Follow Super Bowl Boulevard hashtag (#SBBLVD) on Twitter to get the most up-to-date news.

NFL RUSH ZONE: GUARDIANS UNLEASHED SUPER BOWL SPECIAL PREMIERE

The NFL and Nickelodeon will be hosting a special premiere screening of the NFL RUSH ZONE: Guardians Unleashed Super Bowl episode at the Paramount Screening room (Viacom Building at 1515 Broadway, 3rd Floor) on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 12:45 p.m. Local students from Christopher Columbus Middle School in Clifton, NJ and Park Slope Collegiate in Brooklyn, NY will be in attendance with an NFL player who made an animated cameo in the NFL RUSH ZONE: Guardians Unleashed. These students were participants in the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge and are being rewarded a special premiere screening of the NFL RUSH ZONE: Guardians Unleashed Super Bowl Special. Episode 310, the Super Bowl special, will premiere on Nickelodeon on Saturday Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. and will also air on Nicktoons on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. with multiple encores throughout the weekend. This episode features animated cameos from Houston Texans Defensive Lineman J.J. Watt and San Francisco 49ers Tight End Vernon Davis and NFL Network personalities Rich Eisen and Michael Irvin.

For an NFL RUSH ZONE trailer, click here.

MAKE-A-WISH®

Through the assistance of the NFL, Make-A-Wish® will grant the wishes of 12 children to attend Super Bowl XLVIII. Attending the Super Bowl continues to be a wish that transcends generations: every year since 1982, one or more wish kids has wished to attend the big game.

This year, the children and their families will arrive in New Jersey on Wednesday, Jan. 29 for a welcome reception. Wish children and their families will participate in several other activities related to the Super Bowl and will attend the game at MetLife Stadium through the support of the NFL and other organizations.

Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 240,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.

SUPER BOWL XLVIII BUSINESS LEADERSHIP FORUM

The NFL and the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee will host the Super Bowl XLVIII Business Leadership Forum on Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 5:00 -- 8:30 p.m. This event serves as the culmination of 18 months of NFL-led business outreach initiatives and is designed to encourage and empower the entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes the business community in each Super Bowl host community.

John Harmon, President & CEO, New Jersey Black Chamber of Commerce; Tory Johnson, Good Morning America contributor; NFL player and business owner Will Witherspoon and other national and local business leaders will share their perspectives and business strategies with an emphasis on brand importance and distinction.

In addition, the Business Leadership Forum will celebrate the importance of the small business and their impact on the local communities.

The business leadership forum will be held at The Times Square Center (620 8th Ave., New York, NY 10018). Networking receptions will precede and follow the forum.

NFL HEALTH & SAFETY PRESS CONFERENCE

Members of the NFL medical community will be made available to media at a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 12:00 p.m. at the Super Bowl XLVIII Media Center Presented by XBOX ONE (Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, 811 7th Ave., Empire West Ballroom). They will discuss developments in the 2013 season, injury data and research advances.

Participants in the press conference are:

»San Francisco 49ers CEO Dr. John York, chairman of the NFL owner's health and safety committee

»Dr. MItchel S. Berger, Chair, Subcommittee on Former Players and Long-Term Effects of Brain and Spine Injury, NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee; Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco

»Dr. Matthew Matava, Rams team physician; President, NFL Physicians Society

»NFL Senior Vice President of Health & Safety Policy Jeff Miller

NFLPA ONE TEAM, ONE COMMUNITY

On Thursday, Jan. 30, active and former NFL players will team up with local volunteers to make a difference in the host city's community. While the event is not open to the public, is welcome to attend.

The NFLPA One Team, One Community Fitness Clinic will take place from 12:30 p.m. -- 2:00 p.m. at the Field House at Chelsea Piers (Pier 62 -- 23rd St. & Hudson River Park).

The National Dairy Council and American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc. (ADADC) will bring in approximately 150 elementary schools students from the New York and New Jersey school systems to participate. The event is focused on teaching children about healthy living and will feature non-contact football drills led by NFL players and nutrition information provided by ADADC.

MILITARY OUTREACH

In addition to military outreach in partnership with USAA as part of the lead-up to Pro Bowl, the following events are planned for service members and their families in the New Jersey/New York area during Super Bowl Week:

»Wounded warriors and their families will visit NFL headquarters for a special Salute to Service tailgate-style luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 30. The group will receive a guided tour of the offices and will spend time with NFL players. The event will conclude with an afternoon of activities along Super Bowl Boulevard.

»On Saturday, Feb. 1, Wounded Warriors from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey will attend the NFL Foundation Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic. They will spend time with NFL players and participate in a worldwide broadcast courtesy of Sports Byline USA and American Forces Network. The broadcast will reach 200 stations in the U.S. and 500 stations around the world.

»The NFL and USAA, the NFL's Official Military Appreciation Sponsor, will recognize the 2013 Salute to Service Award winner at the "3rd Annual NFL Honors" awards show in New York City on Saturday, Feb. 1, the night before Super Bowl XLVIII. Created in 2011, the Salute to Service Award acknowledges the members of the NFL community for their exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community and their families.

»In coordination with the NFL and Army Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System, FOX will livestream footage of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment from Kandahar, Afghanistan during the Super Bowl. The Regiment is the last Stryker Brigade Combat Team deployed to support operations in Afghanistan.

»In December, former NY Giants defensive end George Martin visited with more than 300 troops and their families at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, NY, during a military appreciation event hosted by the NFL and the Super Bowl Host Committee's "Huddle Tour."

»Earlier this month, a Salute to Service themed Super Bowl event was held at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst for more than 1,000 service members from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. The event brought a taste of the Super Bowl to the base with the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee's "Huddle Tour" which featured a meet and greet with retired and active players from the Jets and Giants, as well as the NY Jets Cheerleaders.

NFL PLAYER CARE FOUNDATION SCREENINGS

On Thursday, Jan. 30 and Friday, Jan. 31, the NFL Player Care Foundation, along with the Cleveland Clinic and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, will conduct its Healthy Body and Mind Screening program. This national screening program is open to all former NFL players and includes a series of free and confidential cardiovascular and prostate screenings and mental health resources and education. The screening will take place at Mt. Sinai Hospital (10 East 102nd St., 6th Floor) in New York City from 8:00 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m. The screenings are closed to the public.

Mt. Sinai will arrange to have a private room adjacent to the screening area available for media. Dr. Richard S. Lang MD, MPH of the Cleveland Clinic will be the spokesperson for the program.

NFL CHARACTERS UNITE RECEPTION AND PANEL DISCUSSION

On Thursday, Jan. 30 from 6-9 p.m., the NFL, USA Network and GMC will host a reception and panel discussion about USA Network's film, NFL Characters Unite, presented by GMC, at the Sports Illustrated offices (1271 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10020). The one-hour documentary, premiering on USA on Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. ET, profiles NFL stars as they share deeply personal stories of overcoming prejudice, bullying, discrimination, with the goal of helping young people who are currently facing similar challenges.

The panel discussion, moderated by Sports Illustrated's Peter King, will include players featured in the film:

Dez Bryant ( Dallas Cowboys), Randall Cobb ( Green Bay Packers), Victor Cruz ( New York Giants), Mark Herzlich ( New York Giants), Nick Mangold ( New York Jets), Ray Rice ( Baltimore Ravens), Charles Tillman ( Chicago Bears) and J.J. Watt ( Houston Texans). Through meaningful conversations and unique one-on-one confidence building activities, the NFL leaders, both on and off the field, open lines of communication, instill courage and help the kids they meet realize that they, too, can achieve greatness and should "Never Say Never" to their dreams. Super Bowl Breafast.

The 2014 Super Bowl Breakfast will be held Friday, January 31 at 8:00 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The breakfast will feature the presentation of the Bart Starr Award, presented by Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bart Starr to Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers). The award, voted on by his peers, honors Rodgers' outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community.

In addition to Bart Starr and the 2014 Award winner, the program will include 3-time Super Bowl Champion Brent Jones, NY Giants player Justin Tuck along with other NFL coaches and athletes. George Martin, NY Giants 1975-1988 and Eric Metaxas, New York Times Best-selling author of Bonhoeffer, will co-emcee.

DON SHULA NFL HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF THE YEAR PRESS CONFERENCE

The winner of the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award will be made available to media at a press conference Friday, Jan. 31 at 9:00 a.m. at the Rose Theater -- Jazz at Lincoln Center (Time Warner Center). NFL Senior Vice President of Player Engagement Troy Vincent will present the award at the press conference. This award was created in 2010 to honor exemplary football coaches at the high school level that display the integrity, achievement, and leadership demonstrated by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula. The national Shula Award winner will receive $25,000 and attend the Super Bowl. Members of the Shula Award selection panel include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell; NFL greats Don Shula, John Madden, and Art Shell; Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army Chief of Staff; Sam Palmisano, Former Chairman of the Board, IBM; Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Aaron Thomas, Athletic Director at Aplington-Parkersburg High School and son of the school's late football coach Ed Thomas; former Dallas Cowboys personnel director and NFL.com contributor Gil Brandt; veteran sportswriter Jack Fleischer; Scott Hallenbeck, executive director, USA Football; and Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association.

NFL WALTER PAYTON MAN OF THE YEAR PRESS CONFERENCE

The three finalists for the 2013 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will be made available to media at a press conference Friday, Jan. 31 at 9:15 a.m. at the Rose Theater -- Jazz at Lincoln Center (Time Warner Center). The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will be announced at the NFL Honors Award Show on Saturday, Feb. 1. The winner will receive a $25,000 donation in his name. The award is the only league recognition that acknowledges a player's off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence. Finalists were chosen from the 32 team nominees for the award, all of whom receive a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice. The three finalists will receive an additional $5,000 donation in their name. The selection panel is comprised of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz, Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King, football great Frank Gifford, members of the Payton Family and 2012 winner Jason Witten.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY SUPER BOWL XLVIII BUILD EVENTS

Habitat for Humanity New York City is celebrating the Super Bowl in its own backyard with a special event in collaboration with the NFL on Friday, Jan. 31. Volunteers, community members and an NFL player will join together for an event that will strengthen awareness about Habitat NYC's mission to build homes with families in need in New York City, create buzz for the incredible hands-on volunteer experiences available and generate additional community support to help Habitat NYC give a hand up to even more families. NFL FOUNDATION SUPER BOWL CELEBRITY BOWLING CLASSIC

On Saturday, Feb. 1 from 11:00 a.m. -- 3:30 p.m., the ninth annual NFL Foundation Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic will be held at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers (Pier 60/23rd St. & West Side Highway, New York, NY 10011). Proceeds from the event will benefit the NFL Foundation.

The Celebrity Bowling Classic, sponsored by the Bowling Proprietors Association of America and funded by Citi and the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, will team four amateur bowlers with celebrities, including current and former NFL players. Former participants include members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Lem Barney, Harry Carson, Carl Eller, Ted Hendricks, Tom Mack, Rickey Jackson, Jim Taylor; Giants and Jets alumni: Erich Barnes, Jarrod Bunch, Greg Buttle, Chris Calloway, Rodney Hampton, Brian Kelley, Sean Landeta, Curtis McGriff, Erik McMillan, Chuck Mercein, Mike Merriweather, Bart Oates, Joe Pisarcik, Mike Sherrard, Everson Walls and Chris Ward. Additional former players in attendance, include: John Baker, Parnell Dickinson, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson, Hank Bauer, Chuck Foreman, Nesby Glasgow, Lamonte Hunley, Ricky Hunley, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, Jerry Kramer, Tom Nowatzke, Brig Owens, Ickey Woods and Garo Yepremian.

Prizes will be awarded to members of the top three finishing teams. Each bowler also will receive a commemorative Super Bowl XLVIII bowling ball, bowling pin and shirt. Participants will enjoy a New York/New Jersey neighborhood-style buffet. A silent auction hosted by NFL Auction will offer NFL memorabilia and autographed keepsakes.

PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME MERLIN OLSEN LUNCHEON AT SUPER BOWL XLVIII

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will hold the ninth annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Merlin Olsen Luncheon on Friday, January 31 from 11:00 a.m. -- 2:30 p.m. at 10 on the Park at the Time Warner Center (60 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019).

This year's luncheon is hosted by Pro Football Hall of Fame member Anthony Muñoz. Guests will have the opportunity to meet members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in an intimate environment.

The luncheon includes a reception with Hall of Famers, seated lunch with a Hall of Fame member at each table, program with Q & A emceed by Muñoz and commemorative limited edition Frank Gifford signed lithograph.

REBUILDING TOGETHER "KICKOFF TO REBUILD"

On Friday, January 31, Rebuilding Together will join its local Bergen County affiliate for the 19th Annual "Kickoff to Rebuild" project in Moonachie, New Jersey. Rebuilding Together, a national non-profit that rebuilds 10,000 homes for low-income homeowners each year, has worked to revitalize low-income communities in Super Bowl cities for nearly 20 years.

One hundred and fifty volunteers including NFL players; Rebuilding Together President and CEO, Charley Shimanski; volunteers from the local community and sponsors will come together to repair extensive damage caused by Hurricane Sandy at a total of 12 homes and two community spaces at no cost to the recipients. These residents include seniors and families who have lived in the neighborhood for more than 50 years. Many of the homes require the installation of new electrical work, plumbing, sheetrock, flooring as well as many other critical repairs. Profiles of the homeowner stories are available upon request. In addition to the volunteer activities, the day will include a Community Resource Fair, the completion of the new playground built in collaboration with HGTV star Carter Oosterhouse and his charity, Carter's Kids, and Toolbelts+Tailgates a cook-off competition.

A press conference will be held at 12:45 p.m. at 31 Chamberlain Ave, Little Ferry, N.J. Media can check in during the project (9:00 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.) at 125 Moonachie Rd, Moonachie N.J.

SUPER BOWL GOSPEL CELEBRATION

The 15th annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration will take place on Friday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the Theater at Madison Square Garden (4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001). Now in its 15th year, the Super Bowl Gospel brings together Super Bowl champions and Pro Bowl players with Grammy Award-winning contemporary Christian, gospel and mainstream artists all on one stage.

This year's event will feature gospel favorites and Grammy Award-winners Mary Mary and Donnie McClurkin and other top performers and special guests. In addition, the NFL Players Choir featuring current and former players will take the stage. Football greats Ray Lewis, Brian Dawkins, Matt Forte, Donovan McNabb, Darrell Green, John Elway, Tim Brown, Kurt Warner and many others have showcased their vocal talents or participated in the event. More than 100 players and their families attend each year.

Super Bowl Gospel Celebration also gives back to the community. Each year, the event identifies a charity to donate a portion of its proceeds. This year's beneficiary is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

NFLPA SMOCKS & JOCKS

On Saturday, Feb. 1 from 10:30 a.m. -- 1:30 p.m., at the Vermilion Restaurant (480 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10017) the NFL Players Association will hold its annual art auction and jazz brunch, supporting the Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust and The Harlem School of the Arts. Artwork from active and former players and others connected to professional football will be auctioned as part of the charity event.

TROUPE21'S 14TH ANNUAL PLAYER NETWORKING EVENT

The 14th Annual Player Networking Event (PNE) will place Saturday, Feb.1 from 12:00 - 6:00 p.m. at MIST Harlem (46 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026). Active and former NFL players attend to network with the corporate community and connect to career transition resources. The PNE attracts corporations that help players prepare for life after football via career coaching, mentoring, job shadowing, internships and entrepreneurial training.

The event also features successfully transitioned former NFL players including appearances by Spencer Tillman and Bart Scott from CBS Sports; a live Internet broadcast--Handle Your Business--anchored by current CNN correspondent Lamar Campbell; a personal branding competition where players compete for distinction as Super Brand 2014; the PNE Roundtable where players and corporate executives exchange ideas through open discussion; and the launch of the Players Marketplace™--a business-to-business supplier concept designed to encourage player business collaborations. Follow @NFLPNE on Twitter for up-to-date information.

TASTE OF THE NFL

Taste of the NFL is the premier food and wine tasting extravaganza at the Super Bowl, featuring a top chef from each of the 32 NFL team markets, paired with a current or alumni NFL player from each team. Known as "The Party with a Purpose®," Taste of the NFL raises awareness and financial support for food banks involved in hunger relief throughout America. The event has donated more than $14 million dollars to help kick hunger since its inception in 1992.

This year's event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 1 from 7:00 -- 10:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. entry for VIP reception) at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Pier 12 (72 Bowne St., Brooklyn, NY 11231). This year, more than 3,000 patrons are expected to stroll, eat and socialize throughout the 140,000 square-foot venue. Guests will have the opportunity to meet NFL greats, participate in silent and live auctions and end the night with live entertainment.

The event has donated more than $14 million dollars to help kick hunger since its inception in 1992. The event draws celebrities from all areas of the entertainment, sports and food world, including Tom Colicchio, Ted Allen, Alex Guarneschelli and past and present NFL greats Ted Hendricks, Kellen Winslow, Sr., Anthony Munoz, Randall McDaniel, Joe DeLamielleure, Steven Hauschka and Michael Griffin.

Single-entry tickets are available for $700 and VIP tables are $9,000 (10 seats). Tickets can be purchased at www.TasteoftheNFL.com or by calling 952-835-7621.

SUPER COMMUNITY COAT DRIVE

Friday, Feb. 7 will mark the final day for the Super Community Coat Drive, a major legacy project undertaken by the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee to make a positive impact on the NY/NJ region. Launched in early November with nonprofit partners New York Cares and Jersey Cares, over 100,000 warm coats have already been collected for those in need this winter. Businesses and individuals can learn how to participate, by visiting http://www.nynjsuperbowl.com/give-back/coat-drive.

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