Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week got off to a strong start with three days of Huddle for 100 events, bringing area children and volunteers together to participate in three Huddle for Healthy Youth events. The volunteer events, hosted by the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame, focused on promoting healthier lifestyles, both mentally and physically, for local youth. In total, over 500 young people in Stark County joined the fun.
Huddle for Healthy Youth kicked off on Wednesday at the Eric Snow YMCA with the Dr. Leonard King youth group. The event was led by NFL Legend and Ohio native Shawn Crable, who also participated in a character talk alongside fellow NFL Legends, Joe Ehrmann, Hall of Famer John Randle (Class of 2010), and Joe DeLamielleure. Dr. Leonard King also spoke to the group. The conversation focused on the importance of leadership, volunteerism, role models, and sportsmanship. After the talk, the group assembled health and wellness bags, including NFL PLAY 60 gear, Sleep Number accessories, and a complimentary one-year youth membership to the local YMCA. The bags were later distributed at the other two Huddle events in Canton and Massillon to benefit in-need youth. All of the children in attendance at Wednesday’s event also received new pillows donated by NFL partner, Sleep Number, after hearing from John Randle on the importance of quality sleep and its effect on a healthy lifestyle.
On Thursday, Shawn Crable kept the action going at an event held at the Southeast Community Center in downtown Canton. Volunteers, together with young people from the Stark Metro Housing Authority, participated in a neighborhood cleanup and also had the opportunity to join an NFL PLAY 60 Clinic. NFL Legend Bobby Taylor made an appearance and the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders also joined in the efforts. The previously assembled health and wellness bags were distributed to all attendees at the conclusion of the event.
Huddle for Healthy Youth wrapped up on Friday at the Boys and Girls Club of Massillon. Youth volunteers painted rocks with inspirational messages to decorate a new community garden and participated in an NFL PLAY 60 clinic. NFL Legend Tony Richardson and current Tennessee Titan, Wesley Woodyard, joined the Huddle and there was also a special appearance made by the Broncos’ live mascot, Thunder the horse, as well as the traditional mascots for the Broncos and Falcons. Staff and cheerleaders from both teams worked together to construct the new community garden.
The Broncos are major supporters of the Boys & Girls Club of America, sponsoring an entire club in the Denver Area. They initiated the community garden project in Canton this year in honor of two former players, Champ Bailey and Ty Law, and 35-year owner Pat Bowlen, who were inducted into the Hall of Fame later that week. The Bowlen children also joined the occasion to present the Club with a new bench and plaque in honor of their late Father. NFL sponsor Lowe’s donated materials and supplies and supported the garden project with Lowe’s Heroes volunteering their time. The Boys & Girls Club participants also received health and wellness bags at the close of the event. Huddle volunteers were invited to keep the celebration going by attending the Enshrinement ceremony on August 3rd.