Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Bills wide receiver C.J. Hawthorne, fullback Corey McIntyre and safety Jairus Byrd joined the United Way to celebrate the eleventh annual Hometown Huddle at the Boys and Girls Club in Amherst, NY Tuesday evening. The event brought together Buffalo Bills players and children through a national partnership between the NFL and United Way. As part of the NFL-United Way Hometown Huddle, club members from the Boys and Girls Club worked with United Way Volunteers, Boys and Girls Club Staff and Bills players to rotate through three stations geared towards health, fitness and nutrition. The stations allowed the kids to actively participate in fitness drills, cooking demonstrations and health education.
The NFL/United Way "Hometown Huddle" is a day of service that provides NFL players and coaches from each team the opportunity to take part in a variety of community-service activities. On one designated day each year, "Hometown Huddle" events are co-hosted in every NFL city by the respective NFL franchises and local United Ways. Started in 1999, Hometown Huddle continues to help make a difference in communities across the country.
In 2007, the NFL launched a national youth health and fitness campaign designed to tackle childhood obesity. NFL Play 60 focuses on the health and wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. To launch NFL Play 60, many of the NFL teams and United Ways used their Hometown Huddles to focus on youth fitness.
"According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity among children has nearly doubled in the last decade so obviously the health of America's young people is a serious concern," said Tim Doolittle, United Way campaign chairperson. "Our partnership with the Bills and the NFL is important for youth fitness in our community and the Hometown Huddle is a great way to educate young people about getting more active and healthy."
"Getting kids active for at least 60 minutes a day is the goal of the Bills Play 60 fitness programs," explained Gretchen Geitter, Bills vice president of community relations. "Our partnership with United Way will make a positive and measurable impact on youth development in the Western New York region."