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Titans, United Way of Metro Nashville Partner for Fifth-Annual Hometown Huddle

Posted Oct 29, 2013

Titans rookies, cheerleaders and staff joined United Way in leading youth through exercises and demonstrations about healthy snacking.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans rookies, cheerleaders and staff members continued their great partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Nashville on Tuesday for the fifth-annual Hometown Huddle event.

This year, players and cheerleaders led two groups of young people through hour-long NFL Play 60 exercise sessions at the Martha O’Bryan Center in East Nashville just a few blocks from LP Field. The event also included demonstration areas where the young people learned about the importance of choosing healthy foods for snacks and ate those instead of junk foods and a surprise visit by Titans mascot T-Rac.

Margaret Dolan, the 2013 strategy chair for the United Way Board, said the event offered a chance to focus on the health component of the organization’s focus, which also includes education and financial stability, at one of United Way’s 18 Family Resource Centers in Metro Nashville.

“Our Family Resource Centers are located in geographical areas where many people need lots of different services and it’s meant for people who can’t necessarily transport themselves to other places to get a wide range of services, so we bring those services to the neighborhood,” Dolan said. “Today, what we’re able to do is help people understand how to stay healthy and fit, try and prevent bad things from happening and teach kids how to enjoy healthy snacks.”

The entire Titans 2013 NFL Draft class — Chance Warmack, Justin Hunter, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Zaviar Gooden, Brian Schwenke, Lavar Edwards, Khalid Wooten, Daimion Stafford — joined fellow rookies Jonathan Willard, Adam Schiltz and Brandon Copeland in leading the young people through football drills.

Titans rookies and cheerleaders led young people through football drills at the fifth-annual Hometown Huddle. Click here for a slideshow.

“My philosophy on it is when you work out, you feel good and when you feel good you can do good things. You have the opportunity to venture out and make things happen for yourself,” Warmack said. “As you grow up, you have opportunities where you have to achieve in the moment and go for it, and being physically fit has a role to play in that, so just teaching them that at a young age can influence them when they get older.”

Cheerleaders Anne P., Ashley P., Hannah, Jessica, Jocelyn, Kiara, Mariel and Yalea also led drills and showed support for the young people, who also received reusable tote bags with healthy food and Titans items inside.  

“I like to think the cheerleaders are role models to the girls for active healthy lifestyles,” said Stacie Kinder, Titans director of cheerleading. “We’ve come to Hometown Huddle every year with the players and are honored to be here, and when you have little boys and little girls it’s really nice that the cheerleaders get to show that they’re just as active in the community as our football players.”

Jenneen Kaufman, the Titans VP/CFO who is in her second year on the United Way Board, said the Titans enjoyed the opportunity to continue their efforts in the community that go beyond playing games.

“I think it’s amazing because what’s great is they are having as much fun as the kids are having. You can see it on their faces, in their smiles and reactions, and they’re playing with the kids, doing splits, throwing the ball,” Kaufman said. “It means so much to the kids, but it also means a lot to us to be able to give back, to set aside what we do on Sundays and really get out there and make a difference. Being here and seeing the kids creates a magical feeling where you do want to help others.”

This is the 40th year of the partnership between the NFL and the United Way.

“I think the NFL enjoys partnering with the United Way because they are really doing great work in the communities,” Kaufman said. “They are really trying to fix problems and not just put a band aid on them, and they are doing that a lot through their Family Resource Centers. United Way really believes that through financial stability, health and through education, we can break the cycle of poverty.”

Warmack and his classmates have been quite active in community activities since they’ve joined the Titans and have enjoyed opportunities like Hometown Huddle.

“It’s a great feeling. You don’t know who you’re going to reach in situations like this,” Warmack said. “I feel like I can speak for everybody on the rookie class when I say it’s just what we do. We like to reach out and help kids and anybody in the community and we appreciate the love they give us and just want to give it back.”

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