Skip to main content

2010 Falcons in the Community Recap

## 2010 Falcons in the Community Recap

Atlanta Falcons Training Camp Youth Weekend

Atlanta Falcons Training Camp Youth Weekend took place July 31 and August 1. Activities were open to children ages 17 and under and held one hour before each open practice. Activities included: daily autograph sessions with Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders, "Look Like A Pro" where children had the chance to try on authentic Falcons equipment, "Show Your Spirit" allowed young fans wearing a football jersey or cheerleading uniform the chance to receive a mini-football or pom-pom, "Football Flurry" allowed young fans the chance to win autographed footballs, "Hats Off" allowed young fans the chance to win team autographed authentic helmets and "Jersey Frenzy" allowed young fans a chance to win autographed jerseys.

Falcons First Down for Fitness

The Falcons First Down for Fitness program ran from September 1 through November 30. The program, in its fifth year, is designed to challenge students in grades three through seven to participate in physical fitness activities and lead healthy lifestyles. In collaboration with the American Heart Association, the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA) and the NFL's "Play 60" campaign, this incentive-based program rewards participants for being active at least 60 minutes a day, five days a week for three months. Nearly 29,000 students and 100 teachers across the state participated in the program.

The program features several incentives for schools, teachers and students. Fourth grade students at Ferguson Elementary School in Duluth, GA were surprised with a special visit from Atlanta Falcons Players and Cheerleaders. Students spent the morning participating in physical fitness stations alongside Falcons players Kroy Biermann, Garrett Reynolds, Antone Smith, Andy Strickland and program spokesperson Michael Turner. Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders and the Fuel Up to Play 60 program visited Princeton Elementary School in Lithonia, GA to teach third through fifth graders about fun, easy ways to make healthy eating choices. Students at Big Shanty Intermediate School in Kennesaw, GA had the opportunity to learn quick, healthy recipes from 11-year old Chef Lizzy. Chef Lizzy and an Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader shared a simple smoothie recipe with the group and students received a cookbook from the American Heart Association featuring healthy recipes for them to try at home.

Each participating First Down for Fitness school received a physical fitness equipment pack at the beginning of the program to help teachers find creative ways to increase their students' physical fitness. Each teacher received a First Down for Fitness poster featuring program spokesperson Michael Turner, NFL "Play 60" teacher and student guides and a special commemorative football. First Down for Fitness teachers received tickets to Atlanta Falcons home games, and Sweetwater Middle School had the opportunity to participate in the Falcons Fitness Flag Crew during the October 3 Falcons game vs. San Francisco 49ers.

Additionally, each student received a personalized certificate of completion signed by Head Coach Mike Smith and Falcons running back Michael Turner. Eleven MVP's were selected and given the opportunity to participate in pre-game ceremonies during the Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers game Sunday, November 28. Teachers also received a 2010 First Down for Fitness Wellness Award to present to a student whom they felt had made a significant commitment to maintaining their physical fitness and healthy living regime.

Hometown Huddle

Countless fans and children in gym class got quite the surprise on Tuesday, October 19. The Falcons are the only team in the NFL with the entire 53-man Falcons roster, several Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders and members of the Atlanta Falcons Women's Association making surprise appearances at nine different locations around downtown and the metro Atlanta area. Five stops included United Way-affiliated schools/agencies where the players, cheerleaders and Women's Association members delivered new sports equipment and promoted physical fitness as part of the NFL's "Play 60" initiative. The remaining four stops were visits to public venues around the city which included the Publix and 3 hospitals.

This marked the 12th year of the NFL and United Way's partnership/celebration of Hometown Huddle.


Dazzle and Dine

The 2nd annual Dazzle and Dine event took place Tuesday, October 5th and honored breast cancer survivors Valerie Graves, Joya Harris, Andrea Jones, Mahota Matthews and Marie Southern. All of the ladies were treated to a day of pampering and an evening of fine dining with Atlanta Falcons players. The afternoon began with a new hairstyle and make-up application provided by Jamison Shaw Hairdressers. Each honoree also received a gift bag filled with beauty products. The ladies were transported by limousine courtesy of Cooper-Atlanta to Wildfire Perimeter where their invited guest joined them for dinner with Atlanta Falcons players Brian Finneran, Kroy Biermann, Jamaal Anderson, Christopher Owens, Jonathan Babineaux and Sam Baker. Brian Finneran addressed the group and saluted each honoree for their dedication to the cause and courage to continue fighting. Additionally, through the NFL's National Partnership Fund, a $1,000 grant in each honoree's name was provided to a local breast cancer awareness organization of their choice.

Community Quarterback Award

The Atlanta Falcons Community Quarterback Award honors volunteers in Georgia (ages 13 and over) who exemplify leadership and dedication to bettering their communities. Many organizations rely on quality volunteers to create and facilitate programs that benefit many lives throughout the State of Georgia. The Community Quarterback Award is designed to recognize and reward these volunteers.

Over 160 deserving individuals were nominated for the 2010 Community Quarterback Award. Four incredible individuals were selected as this year's recipients: Kevin Ingram (Bennett's Mill Middle School), Mack Secord (Angel Flight), Juanita Wallace (English Avenue Neighborhood Association) and Dr. Charles White (Caring Hands Health Clinic). They were honored during pre-game ceremonies of the Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers game Sunday, November 28. Each winner received an Atlanta Falcons Community Quarterback Award jacket, a commemorative football and a personalized jersey. Additionally, a $2,000 grant was awarded to the non-profit organization each winner serves.

FalCan Food Drive

As a standing tradition, each year the Atlanta Falcons partner with the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) for the annual FalCan Food Drive. This year, the Falcons extended its partnership and teamed up with Publix in a continued effort to help fight hunger. New in 2010, schools throughout the State of Georgia joined in the fight against hunger by participating in the FalCan Food Drive School Challenge. Forty schools collected over 42,000 pounds of canned goods and/or non-perishable food items over a two week period for the opportunity to win exciting prizes. Including the donations collected prior to the Sunday, November 7th Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the efforts of the FalCan Food Drive School Challenge and the Food For Sharing Program raised 244,519 pounds and $10,264 with translates into 191,031 meals for the community.

Toys for Tots

Another standing tradition, fans supported the Atlanta Falcons Toys for Tots drive prior to the Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers games Sunday, November 7 in record fashion. With donations of over 650 toys and more than $13,000, together the Atlanta Falcons, O'Reilly Auto Parts and the U.S. Marine Corps were able to provided deserving families with special toys during the holiday season.

Guinness World Record

On December 7, 2010 the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, along with several community partners which included Coca-Cola (Dasani), Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, HOPSports Training Systems, Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc., (SUDIA), and the Georgia Dome set the Guinness World Record for the largest virtual physical education class.

For 30 minutes, participants at the Georgia Dome — as well as approximately 6,000 individuals participating via a live webcast throughout Georgia and various parts of the United States — exercised at the same time.

A total of 2,288 elementary and middle school-aged children from across the State of Georgia who are part of the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation's Falcons Fitness Zones and the Atlanta Falcons First Down for Fitness Program participated in the record-setting event.

Alongside the students, Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders and Falcons players WR Andy Strickland, CB Christopher Owens, S William Moore, S Erik Coleman, LB Stephen Nicholas, RB Antone Smith, RB Gartrell Johnson III and WR Harry Douglas also participated in the 30-minute workout.

Nicholas, Atlanta's fourth-year linebacker from the University of South Florida said the workout was challenging, but fun.

"It was great to see the kids smiling, and it's a good thing to teach the kids that working out can be fun and it makes you feel better as a person," said Nicholas, a member of the 10-2 Falcons, who share the NFL's best record with the New England Patriots. "It was a good experience for me and the rest of the guys who participated, and I had a great time."

Members of the United States Armed Forces served as independent observers to monitor the event's participants and confirm the final number of participants that completed the full 30-minute workout.

In addition, Stephanie Blank, chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees for Children's Health Care of Atlanta, an active member of the Falcons Youth Foundation and the wife of Falcons Owner & CEO Arthur M. Blank, participated in the 30-minute virtual exercise class along with Falcons players and team President Rich McKay.

"The Atlanta Falcons are committed to making sure children in our community and all over the country are excited about exercise," Blank said. "We want to get the message out to all young people that it's cool to exercise. Not only is it cool, it's good for you and it's fun."

McKay, team president for the Falcons, said the Guinness World Record event strengthened the club's commitment to attacking youth obesity in the Atlanta community.

"We are excited about the opportunity to continue to spread awareness and emphasize the benefits of exercise and proper nutrition for our young people," McKay said. "We recognize that our players and cheerleaders have significant influence in changing behaviors that lead to childhood obesity, and we look forward to continuing our fight of moving kids from sedentary lifestyles to active ones."

Several local and state dignitaries attended the record-setting event to show their support in the fight against childhood obesity, including Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.

Official Guinness World Record Adjudicator, Danny L. Girton Jr., was on-hand to officially announce setting the Guinness World Record for largest virtual physical education class.

"One of the great things about events like this one is that ordinary people come together to try to accomplish something extraordinary," Girton said. "This event was one of the most organized operations that I have had the opportunity to adjudicate."

Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation

The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) was established in 1985 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta Falcons. Since Arthur Blank acquired the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, AFYF has grown to be the largest owner-funded foundation in the National Football League, providing more than $17 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Georgia.

AFYF is taking the issue of childhood obesity head on by investing in nonprofit organizations that are moving school-age kids to spend more time every day in organized physical activity.

Falcons Fitness Flag Crew

During each Atlanta Falcons home game, 60 participants were selected to assist in unfurling an oversized 40 yard by 40 yard Falcons flag as a part of the Falcons game day experience right before kickoff. These participants are made up of schools, military bases, youth football teams and civic/non-profit organizations. The Falcons Fitness Flag Crew experience provided each individual with a t-shirt, ticket to the game and the opportunity to partake in pre-game aerobic warm-ups led by members of the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders, an on-field rehearsal, meal and the opportunity to visit Falcons Landing. By the conclusion of each experience, participants logged nearly two miles of walking.

Falcons Gatorade Junior Training Camps

The Atlanta Falcons conducted Falcons Gatorade Junior Training Camps in schools and parks across Georgia with a special emphasis on introducing youth to the fundamentals of footballs through basic drills as well as expose them to hydration maintenance. 55 camps were conducted across the state and an estimated 4,500 children had the opportunity to participate. These camps reached areas of the state including metro Atlanta, Statesboro, Macon, Dublin, Athens and Tifton.

Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders

Everyone knows that the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders perform at each home game, but what most may not know is that throughout the year the cheerleaders appeared at over 250 community events across the state of Georgia. These events included speaking engagements to promote physical fitness and education, stops at hospitals, schools, homeless shelters and even military bases to name a few.

Atlanta Falcons Junior Cheerleaders

Young ladies ages 5-16 had the opportunity to cheer for their home team by participating in the Atlanta Falcons Junior Cheerleaders Program. There were no tryouts required to participate and all skill levels were accepted. Nearly 300 young girls performed in front of tens of thousands of fans during halftime of the Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers game November 7.

Participants of the program received a game day uniform, pom poms, practice t-shirt, three instructional clinics taught by the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders and a tailgate party on performance day.

Atlanta Falcons Women's Association

This season was filled with several events and volunteer opportunities for the Atlanta Falcons Women's Association. Over the course of the season members had major roles in the following initiatives: B'rest Stop at the It's the Journey, Inc 2-Day Breast Cancer Walk, Hometown Huddle, FalCan Food Drive, Toys for Tots Drive and the annual t-shirt and pillowcase paint at The Child Life Zone at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

Player Appearances

The Atlanta Falcons players and cheerleaders have been active in the community this season participating in over 775 appearances and logging more than 3500 hours around the state of Georgia. Some of the visits included a fishing excursion on Lake Lanier Islands with Purple Heart recipients and military veterans, a Black Hawk helicopter ride to Fort Gordon Army Base to thank the military for their service, the defensive line treating 40 children from the Atlanta Union Mission to a holiday shopping spree at a local Wal-Mart and participating in setting a Guinness World Record for the largest virtual physical education class in an effort to show support of the continuing effort to combat youth obesity. Additional visits throughout the year included, the entire roster celebrating Hometown Huddle by participating in community service all over metro Atlanta, surprise school visits, Atlanta Falcons Gatorade Junior Training Camps, hospital visits and serving meals at homeless shelters during the holidays.

Atlanta Falcons Rookie Club sponsored by UnitedHealthcare of Georgia

The Atlanta Falcons Rookie Club is designed to specifically expose and immerse the rookie class into the metro Atlanta community and involve them in different community activities. Throughout the season, the Atlanta Falcons Rookie Club served a special Thanksgiving meal to the homeless, hosted a football camp for special education students, visited the Shepherd Center, volunteered at the Empty Stocking Fund during the holiday season, passed out non-perishable food to military families for Veterans Day and fished with children from the Eagle Ranch children's home.


Throughout the year, the Community Relations Department donates autographed items in support of charity events/programs/activities to official 501(c)3 non-profit organizations and schools within the State of Georgia. Beneficiaries must support youth and/or focus on health, arts, physical fitness and/or education. In 2010, local organizations were able to raise nearly $50,000.

Salute to High School Football Luncheon

The third annual Salute to High School Football Luncheon took place Saturday, December 11 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Former Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn gave the keynote address, along with remarks from Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith and President Rich McKay. Additionally, the first annual Warrick Dunn Captain in the Community of the Year award was presented to Tyler Cierski from Mill Creek High School.

The Atlanta Falcons Divisional Coach of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Winner were announced. Each winner received a crystal trophy along with two round-trip tickets, courtesy of Air Tran Airways. They are as follows:

• 1A-Jim Dickerson—Clinch County High School

• 2A-Ken Cofer—Cook High School

• 3A-Chip Walker—Sandy Creek High School

• 4A-Leroy Ryals—Clarke Central High School

• 5A- Jeff Herron—Camden County High School

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

• Buck Godfrey—Southwest DeKalb High School

Additional prizes were awarded to those in attendance. They are as follows:

The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation gave away (5) $500 and (1) $1,000 equipment grants and USA Football gave away (5) $500 equipment grants.

Finally, Russell Athletic gave each coach a tote bag and t-shirt and Air Tran provided a discounted flight voucher.

NFL Youth Football Fund Matching Grant

The Atlanta Falcons and the NFL's Youth Football Fund matching grant program awarded $40,000 in grants around the state of Georgia through the following programs:

Captain in the Community

The Captain in the Community program recognized outstanding varsity high school football student-athletes around the State of Georgia that demonstrated strong leadership skills both on and off the field. The program encouraged these student-athletes to continue to be leaders in their communities.

During the 2010 high school football season, the Falcons honored 10 varsity football student-athletes who excelled on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. The winners were selected by members of the USA Football staff. In order to be considered a Falcons Captain in the Community, the student-athlete had to meet the following criteria:

• 3.0 or higher grade point average

• Voluntary community service record (i.e. camp instructor, participation in school food drive/toys for tots program, mission trips, visits to nursing homes/hospitals, involvement with Boys & Girls Club/YMCA programs or other service projects.)

Winners received a plaque and their high school received a $1,000 grant to support future community initiatives.

All high school varsity football student-athletes in the State of Georgia were eligible for the Captain in the Community award.

The 2010 winners:

• Cody Jones - Bleckley County High School

• Dexter Walker - Dacula High School

• Evan Chininis - Norcross High School

• Christopher Barlow - Carver High School

• Ty Shelnutt - George Walton Academy

• Achilles Jackson - Forest Park High School

• Patrick Callaway - Martin Luther King Jr. High School

• James Dean - Glynn Academy

• Travis Fitzwater - Sonoraville High School

• Tyler Cierski - Mill Creek High School--Warrick Dunn Captain in the Community of the Year

Coach of the Week

Every year the Atlanta Falcons honor high school football coaches through the NFL's Coach of the Week program. Coach of the Week recognizes high school coaches who, through their hard work and dedication to young people, have made a difference in the lives of their players, community and school as well as provides high schools with financial assistance to help maintain and upgrade their football programs.

Each week of the season, the winner received a plaque signed by Head Coach Mike Smith and a $1,000 grant from the NFL's Youth Football Fund to his school's athletic department.

The 2010 winners:

• Chad Campbell - Peach County High School

• Julius Moses - South Atlanta High School

• Cortez Allen - Newton High School

• Ronald Gartrell - Stephenson High School

• Terry Tuley - North Oconee High School

• Al Hughes - Lovejoy High School

• David Johnson - Swainsboro High School

• Chad Philips - Starr's Mill High School

• Greg Hunter - Groves High School

• Tommy Flowers - White County High School

• Tom Fallaw - Cairo High School

• Steve Pennington - Statesboro High School

Youth Team and Cheer Squad of the Week

This program recognized youth football teams and cheer squads throughout the state of Georgia. One team was selected weekly beginning early September through mid-November.

Each team of the week/cheer squad of the week received t-shirts and a grant in the amount of $500 to support their organization.

The 2010 Youth Team of the Week winners:

• 9 & 10 Waverly Hall Yellow Jackets

• 8 & under Fairburn Flames

• 5 & 6 year old Mini Mite Seahawks

• 10 year old Grayson Rams

• 10 & under Tucker Lions

• 9 & 10 year old "Hitmen" from the

Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta

• 8 & Under Ben Hill Tigers (Red Team)

• 12 & under Georgia Lions

• 6 year old Burrell Dacula Falcons

• 5 & 6 year old West Walton County Falcons

The 2010 Cheer Squad of the Week winners:

• 4 & 5 year old Milford Warriors cheerleaders

• 8 year old Central Park Bulldogs cheerleaders

• 12 & under Union City Eagles cheerleaders

• 3rd grade Lilburn Patriots cheerleaders

• 8 & under Coweta County Cobras cheerleaders

• 11 & up Douglasville Tiger Cubs cheerleaders

• 4th grade Shiloh cheerleaders

• 12 & under 150 Division 1 Bulldog cheerleaders

• 10 year old Cascade Wolverines

• 6 & under Glenwood Hills Panthers

17 youth football

Refurbished Football Equipment and Minor Field Repair Grants

Organizations, middle and/or high schools around the State of Georgia were awarded refurbished football equipment or minor field repair grants totaling $16,900.

The 2010 Refurbished Football Equipment and Minor Field Repair grant recipients:

Refurbished Equipment Grants

Bleckley County Middle School – Cochran, GA: $900

Dodge County Middle School – Eastman, GA: $1,000

East Hall High School – Gainesville, GA: $1,000

East Jackson High School – Commerce, GA: $1,000

Frederick Douglas High School – Atlanta, GA: $1,000

Glennville Middle School – Glennville, GA: $1,000

Harris County Carver Middle School – Hamilton, GA: $1,000

Lanier County High School – Lakeland, GA: $1,000

Montgomery County High School – Mount Vernon, GA: $1,000

Morrow Middle School – Morrow, GA: $1,000

Richards Middle School – Columbus, GA: $1,000

West Jackson Middle School – Jefferson, GA: $1,000

Minor Field Repair Grants

Coosa High School – Rome, GA: $1,000

Eastside High School – Covington, GA: $1,000

Redan Middle School – Lithonia, GA: $1,000

Sequoyah Middle School – Riverdale, GA: $1,000

Woodstock High School – Woodstock, GA: $1,000

Atlanta Falcons Community Honors Dinner presented by Allstate

The inaugural Atlanta Falcons Community Honors Dinner presented by Allstate was held on Monday, December 13 at The Commerce Club in downtown Atlanta. This special evening will recognize four Allstate Community All Star winners, four Atlanta Falcons Community Quarterback winners and four Atlanta Falcons Community All Star of the Month winners. Additionally, the Atlanta Falcons announced for the first time the 2010 Atlanta Falcons Walter Payton Man of the Year winner. CB Christopher Owens was selected as the winner.

The Atlanta Falcons Man of the Year award recognizes a player's off-the-field community service. Each team in the NFL nominates one player from their organization for this prestigious honor. The winner will be considered in the final selection of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award which will be announced during halftime of the Super Bowl XLV.

The Atlanta Falcons Community All Star of the Month winners were the nominees for the Atlanta Falcons Man of the Year award. The nominees were as follows: TE Justin Peelle, CB Christopher Owens, OL Garrett Reynolds and DE Kroy Biermann.

In attendance were several past Atlanta Falcons Man of the Year winners such as: WR Terance Mathis, WR Michael Haynes, C Jeff Van Note, LB Buddy Curry, OT Todd Weiner, FB Ovie Mughelli and WR Brian Finneran. Finneran, the 2009 Atlanta Falcons Man of the Year, announced the 2010 winner at the dinner.

The Allstate Community All Stars program honored four metro Atlanta Allstate agents who demonstrated a commitment to giving back to their local community as a natural extension of what they do every day; protecting people and helping put their lives back together. The Allstate Community All Stars embody the core values of Allstate's social responsibility to provide leadership for a better, stronger society, and to invest time and financial resources for worthy causes of all kind. In Spring 2011, the agents will participate in a special community visit with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons Community Quarterback Award honored volunteers in Georgia (ages 13 and over) who exemplify leadership and dedication to bettering their communities. The Atlanta Falcons recognize that many organizations rely on quality volunteers to create and facilitate programs that benefit many lives throughout the state of Georgia and this award is designed to recognize and award these individuals. The winners were selected by a panel of civic and community leaders. A $2,000 grant was awarded to the non-profit organization each winner serves.

New in 2010, The Atlanta Falcons Community All Star of the Month program presented by Allstate recognized a player each month that has shown a strong dedication to giving back to the community. Each winner has been heavily engaged this season in team community initiatives and/or their own community initiatives.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content