Photo Credit Kimberly Jost
Photo Credit Luis Rodriquez
NFL Alumni Central Florida Chapter Hosts Membership Meeting
BY DEIDRE PADILLA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
ORLANDO - The National Football League Alumni Central Florida Chapter held its membership meeting on October 20, 2016 at Mango’s Tropical Cafe. The NFL Alumni is a non-profit organization that consists of retired NFL players, coaches, professionals and other members linked to the game. The importance of becoming a member of the NFL Alumni is that it provides them with resources, unites them with former NFL colleagues, and gives them an opportunity to give back to their community. Their mission statement is twofold “Caring For Kids” and “Caring For Our Own”. This organization is a support network for all former players while inspiring them to raise funds for youth charities.
The NFL Alumni began back in 1967 and has many NFL Alumni chapters around the country. The meeting started off with socializing with the members. Reverend Justin Felton, Sr. held the opening prayer. The NFL Gospel Choir sang Patriotic Songs. The original NFL Gospel Choir was inspired by the late Hall of Famer, Reggie White. The choir is comprised of 25-30 current and retired players that are from a variety of multi-cultural backgrounds. They are Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, Walter Payton Man of the Year, Heisman Trophy and Hall of Fame Champions. The Chapter President, Seneca McMillan says, “There is life after football and so much we can do with the platform that we have. There are many lives we can change. We can raise funds and give it away,” “I’m excited about the Pro Bowl coming here to Orlando because this will be a game that showcases the Best of the Best of the NFL Players.” said Beau Jarrell, Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jarrell said it will give the inner city youth an opportunity to see the players up close and have photos taken with the players. “I’m from the NFL Tampa Alumni Chapter and it is great being here with the guys from the Central Florida Chapter,” said Kevin House, Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers. House said, “We are focusing on the Pro Bowl being hosted here in Orlando at Camping World Stadium on January 29, 2017.” House said the Pro Bowl is usually held in Hawaii and is so glad it is closer to home. House is also a member of the NFL Gospel Choir and sang with the choir this evening.
Commissioner Victoria Siplin of District 6, said, “I am happy that you all are having your membership meeting here in District 6 and I look forward to all of the work that you are doing here in the community.” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said, “I wanted to stop by here and show my support for the NFL Alumni continuing to make a positive impact in our city.” Jenn Welter former coach for the Arizona Cardinals was at the meeting to discuss her girl’s camp. Welter is the first woman to hold an NFL coaching position. There were Elected Officials, Business leaders, Entrepreneurs and the Media that was invited to see what the NFL Alumni is doing for the Orlando community and informed everyone about the upcoming events including the NFL Pro Bowl. They have approximately seven meetings a year. Mango’s Tropical Cafe will be the venue for the NFL Alumni Central Florida Chapter meetings.