DALLAS, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, college football's most outstanding player raises the Heisman Memorial Trophy, a triumphant gesture recognized by anyone involved in the sport. This weekend, six former Heisman winners will get together to lift spirits when they conduct a youth football clinic and help raise the walls of a new Habitat for Humanity home – an act that will change the lives of a local Dallas family forever.
Kicking off the weekend on Friday is the Heisman Youth Football Clinic, an event created last year in collaboration with Nissan, the Heisman Trophy Trust and United Way. This year, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas identified Jubilee Park & Community Center's Afterschool program as an exemplary initiative that would benefit greatly from a football clinic of this kind.
Leading the football clinic will be Heisman trophy winner and former Dallas Cowboy great Roger Staubach (1963, Navy). Joining Staubach in running drills and engaging more than 150 youths will be fellow Heisman winners Billy Sims (1978, Oklahoma), George Rogers (1980, South Carolina) and Ricky Williams (1998, Texas). The Jubilee Park & Community Center is located in an underserved area of southeast Dallas.
Then on Saturday, Sims, Rogers and Williams will team up with two more Heisman winners – Dallas native Tim Brown (1987, Notre Dame) and former Cowboy Herschel Walker (1982, Georgia) – and a Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity construction crew to help raise the walls of a new home. This unique collaboration grew out of existing relationships between Nissan and its longtime partners Habitat for Humanity and the Heisman Trophy Trust. Together, the three organizations will hammer, saw and raise walls.
"It's an absolute honor to be here with my Heisman brothers and lend a helping hand to those in need of affordable housing," said Brown. "Winning the Heisman was a monumental feat in all our lives, but little can really compare to the feeling of helping others. To have the opportunity to do this in my hometown of Dallas – just miles away from where I grew up – makes it that much more special, and I thank the Heisman Trust, Nissan, Habitat for Humanity and United Way for helping make this a reality."
"In Nissan's first-ever build with both Habitat for Humanity and the Heisman Trust last year, we saw first-hand the power of working together to change lives for the better, and the smiles on family members' faces was an incredible reminder of the importance of community service," said Nissan Marketing Vice President Jon Brancheau. "Together with Habitat for Humanity and the Heisman Trust, we're continuing our mission to improve the communities where our employees and customers live, and we're grateful to these athletes for joining in this one-of-a-kind partnership to build this house."
In 2011, Nissan launched the "Heisman House" concept to highlight its sponsorship of The Heisman Memorial Trophy, which is awarded annually to an outstanding college football player. The campaign gathers many of the most celebrated college football players of the last 50 years into the fraternal order of the Heisman House. Since then, a number of Heisman winners have joined Nissan in support of its ongoing Habitat for Humanity efforts.
"We're proud to work alongside great partners, especially The Heisman Trust, Nissan and the former Heisman winners here today, who are committed to making a difference and transforming the life of a family," said Bill Hall, CEO, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity. "There are few experiences more profound than empowering a hard-working family in realizing the dream of owning their first home."
Nissan invites all its stakeholders to support Habitat for Humanity. Point-of-sale materials in dealerships and communications to consumers share information about its Habitat partnership. NissanUSA.com visitors can click through to Habitat's website to make a donation or find volunteer opportunities across the U.S. Grants from Nissan help sponsor volunteers who build homes through Habitat's annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, provide Nissan vehicles to Habitat affiliates, and support sustainability summits for affiliates and their communities.
Nissan's national partnership with Habitat dates to 2005, following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since 2006, Nissan has contributed more than $12 million to Habitat for Humanity. Nissan employees have helped to build more than 55 homes across the United States, and the company has donated 120 vehicles to support Habitat's mission.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International's vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit habitat.org.
About Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity
Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity engages community partners, empowers low-income families to be successful homeowners, and transforms long forgotten neighborhoods through its revitalization efforts. Habitat for Humanity's vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Dallas Habitat believes that hard working individuals and families be provided the opportunity to live in thriving neighborhoods where hopes and dreams are realized for generations to come because poverty housing is socially, politically and spiritually unacceptable. Since 1986, Dallas Habitat has served over 1,400 low-income families using affordable homeownership as an anchor for hope, change, and stabilization resulting in an investment of approximately $140 million in more than 25 neighborhoods for families that pay nearly $2 million annually in property taxes in Dallas County. Dallas Area Habitat is the largest nonprofit builder of single-family homes in the City of Dallas. For more information, visit www.dallas-habitat.org.
About The Heisman Trophy Trust
The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player in the United States. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award. The Trust, furthermore, has a charitable mission to support amateur athletes and to provide greater opportunities to the youth of our country. Our goal through these endeavors is for The Heisman Trophy to symbolize the fostering of a sense of community responsibility and service to our youth, especially those disadvantaged or afflicted.
About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas offers North Texans highly effective ways to help people change their lives forever. United Way is one of the largest non-governmental funders — investing nearly $50 million in one year — for programs focused on Education, Income and Health in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties. By breaking the destructive cycles of dropouts, poverty and poor health for hundreds of thousands of people each year, United Way donors, volunteers and advocates create long-term improvements throughout the region. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas currently funds Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and Jubilee Park and Community Center as exceptional programs furthering community Income and Education goals. To learn more, please visit UnitedWayDallas.org.
About Jubilee Park and Community Center
Jubilee Park & Community Center was formed with the mission to be a catalyst for community renewal and enrichment in the surrounding South Dallas/Fair Park neighborhood. Their approach is a unique, comprehensive model for community revitalization. They address each of the main factors that create vitality in a community: education, public safety, public health, housing, and community ownership.
SOURCE Nissan North America