LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA – With the season’s kick-off game set for September 9, Washington Redskins players were welcomed back from Training Camp at the 57th annual Welcome Home Luncheon on August 29 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.
Hosted by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and the Redskins Alumni Association, fans and corporate partners attended the event along with the entire Redskins organization, including players, coaches, cheerleaders and alumni. Annual awards were given out to recognize player accomplishments during the 2017 season, both on the field and off the field for their community outreach and charitable efforts. A community member was also honored for supporting the U.S. military.
The Welcome Home Luncheon is the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year, according to the Redskins–with a record $750,000 raised at the event this year.
Founded in 2000 by Redskins owners Dan and Tanya Snyder, the Redskins Charitable Foundation supports youth programs across the region. The Foundation provided support to more than 175,000 children in 2017, according to the Redskins, and has given back more than $23 million since it was established.
During the event, Casey Box, a member of the Keller Family Foundation, announced a matching challenge, pledging to match every dollar up to $100,000 for anyone in the room or across the nation willing to donate to the Foundation through the end of the Redskins season. Redskins owner Dan Snyder immediately accepted the challenge at the luncheon, pledging $100,000.
Donations received in the matching challenge will benefit the Loads of Love program, which installs washers and dryers in schools and non-profit organizations in the D.C. metro area to serve students who lack access to clean clothes. Setting up laundry services in schools helps to boost student morale, including attendance rates, participation and grades.
Individuals or companies interested in donating to the program can contact the Foundation.
Opening the festivities fans mingled with current and former Redskins players in a pre-luncheon red rope autograph reception and a VIP reception.
More than 100 items, including signed football memorabilia, artwork and experience opportunities were on display for attendees to bid on to benefit the Foundation’s youth programs.
With great fanfare, the players, alumni and coaches were announced on the stage at the start of the luncheon.
Sports broadcaster Lindsay Czarniak officiated as the event emcee.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder delivered the welcoming remarks followed by the Presentation of Colors and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by the Bowie High School Quartet of Bowie, Md.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser spoke to the audience about D.C.’s sports teams, making a pitch for the Redskins to build the next stadium in Washington, D.C. when the current lease at FedExField in Landover, Md. expires on 2027.
Introduced by Team President Bruce Allen, Redskins Long Snapper Nick Sundberg was awarded The Redskins Community Man of the Year Award. Sundberg launched the Loads of Love program in partnership with the Foundation and provided the initial $25K donation to the program. Throughout his 8 seasons with the team, Sundberg has been strongly involved with supporting many additional non-profit community organizations.
Next, Clint Romesha, Medal of Honor recipient, presented Elaine Rogers, President of USO Metro, with the Washington Redskins Salute Award, given out to a player or community member for their support of the U.S. members and their families. Rogers has dedicated the past 42 years to serving our nation’s active duty military members, their families, those who are wounded, ill and injured and their caregivers.
Three Redskins players were honored for their contributions to the team on the field during the event.
Right Tackle Morgan Moses was awarded the Mark Moseley Special Teams Player of the Year by Redskins alumnus Mark Moseley.
The Sam Huff Defense Player of the Year was given to Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan by Redskins Alumnus Brig Owens and Shaza Andersen, CEO, Washington First Bank and Founder/Principal Officer Washington First Youth Foundation.
Safety Deshazor Everett was awarded the Bobby Mitchell Offensive Player of the Year by Redskins Alumnus Larry Brown.
Following up, emcee Lindsay Czarniak held an amusing Q&A one-on-one conversation with legendary Hall of Fame Running Back John Riggins on stage, reminiscing on his football career.
Soon the team will be running through the tunnel at the start of the season opener game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix stadium on Sunday, September 9. Check out the full game schedule at www.redskins.com/schedule.