NASHVILLE – A year ago, the Titans launched the "We Stand For" campaign, designed to bring the public's attention to the causes that are important to the team's players, coaches and executives.
On Tuesday, it was on full display -- along with some big checks handed out by controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk.
Several of the team's leaders, including general manager Jon Robinson, head coach Mike Vrabel and three players – tight end Delanie Walker, linebacker Wesley Woodyard, and defensive lineman Jurrell Casey – were on hand for a community engagement panel at Nissan Stadium, where they discussed the causes that are dear to them.
Then, Amy Adams Strunk handed out $450,000 in grant funding to 10 local non-profit organizations at the end of a luncheon.
"Mike said, "We're all family,' and what they stand for, we stand for," Strunk said. "We want to be a part of the community and be a part of the change, and just be good Samaritans. (Our players) take their feelings about this community (seriously) – they're so strong. And they just want to do what they can to make it a better place. Nashville is great, but we can always be better.
"Today was fun. It was a surprise (to the check recipients) and that made it even more fun. … It just means so much that we have taken on different causes now that maybe we wouldn't have thought about if our players hadn't brought them to us. I think it's a great thing."
The grants handed out on Tuesday ranged from $25,000 to $100,000 and support non-profit organizations in the spaces of education, African American history and culture, social justice, diversionary and re-entry programs, immigrant outreach and domestic violence and sexual assault.
The $100,000 grant recipients:
* National Museum of African American Music
* NAACP Freedom Fund
The $50,000 grant recipients:
* Community Achieves by Metro Nashville Public Schools
* Nashville GRAD
The $25,000 grant recipients:
* Project Return
* Davidson County Drug Court Program (DC4)
* Thistle Farms
* Sexual Assault Center
* Nashville International Center for Empowerment
* Conexion Americas
Grant recipients were selected not only on merit but also based on their affiliation with a cause identified as important to a player, coach or executive through the team's "We Stand For" campaign.
The organization's hope for the "We Stand For" campaign is to foster positive dialogue around the community work of its players and executives and raise awareness for the associated causes. The campaign was launched to give Titans players, coaches and front office a platform to better showcase causes and charities that are important to them, and to foster positive dialogue around their community and the work of their associated charities.
Along with his wife Ryann, the Caseys established the Casey Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of at-risk youth as well as formerly incarcerated individuals by raising money for re-entry programs, inner-city youth programs, mentoring, and halfway houses.
Casey said the organization's work in the community – and Strunk's generosity – has inspired everyone to do more.
"It's unbelievable," said Casey, the 2018 Titans recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. "For you to have an owner and an organization to do something this incredible in the community, something we fight for all the time. … For Amy to do something like this, I am baffled, I am speechless. She has done something so amazing it touches my heart down deep."
Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk announced $450,000 in grant funding to 10 local non-profit organizations. (Photos: Donald Page)