LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va., Sept. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington Football Team held its first-ever virtual Welcome Home Luncheon yesterday, ahead of the week one matchup at FedExField against the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The unofficial kickoff to the season was celebrated for the 59th consecutive year – and this year, especially – reminded players, staff, coaches and fans how important community is. Proceeds from the event benefitted the Washington Football Charitable Foundation and their efforts to support COVID-19 relief and social justice initiatives across the region. The Washington faithful were invited free of charge to attend the annual event, which was hosted by Julie Donaldson, senior vice president of media and content for the franchise, and Santana Moss, pregame analyst for the team's broadcast.
Legendary Washington tight end and co-host of the Doc & Galdi Show on The TEAM 980 AM / 95.9 FM, Doc Walker, presented player awards, including:
- Long Snapper Nick Sundberg, Community Man of the Year: Sundberg was honored for his work with, and commitment to, Loads of Love, which he created with his wife, Flor, and the Washington Football Team Charitable Foundation. The program works to install washers and dryers in schools and non-profit businesses, decreasing the barrier to having clean clothes, and improving the lives of more than 12,000 youth and their families across the DMV.
- Defensive End Ryan Kerrigan, Salute Award: Kerrigan was presented with the Washington Football Salute Award for his acts of gratitude towards our country's service members. Since his time in Washington began, Ryan has been a fixture within the area's military community, including frequent visits to Walter Reed Medical Center and Joint Base Andrews.
- Wide Receiver Terry McLaurin, Bobby Mitchell Offensive Player of the Year: As a rookie, McLaurin finished the 2019 campaign with 58 receptions for 919 yards and 7 touchdowns. Earlier this year, Washington made Mitchell the second former player to have his number retired by the team in its 88-year history and named the lower level of the stadium after the humanitarian and offensive standout.
- Defensive Tackle Matt Ioannidis, Sam Huff Defensive Player of the Year: After continuing to assert dominance as an interior member of the vaunted Washington front four, Ioannidis closed out the 2019 season with 42 tackles and 8.5 sacks.
- Punter Tress Way, Mark Moseley Special Teams Player of the Year: Adding to his League accolades of a Pro Bowl selection and being named second-team All-Pro last year, Way netted the special teams recognition with an average punt of 49.6 yards and by pinning opponents inside their 20-yard line 30 times.
The event, which included a silent auction to benefit the Washington Football Team Charitable Foundation, also included input and encouragement from franchise veterans and community leaders like Fred Smoot, Mark Rypien, Dion Foxx and DC Public Schools Manager of Partner Engagement, Thomasin Franken, who focused her talk on the importance of the Charitable Foundation's community work, including the Back-To-School Drive-Thru that took place in August to ensure DMV area students were prepared for a new school year.
Long Snapper Nick Sundberg said of winning the Community Man of the Year Award, "I'm so thankful to accept this award. I have to give a big thank you to the entire Washington Football organization for giving my wife and I the privilege of having this platform and allowing us to create such a positive change in the DMV, especially Mr. Snyder himself for his wonderful donations in the past, allowing us to have this opportunity. We're in 86 locations across the DMV, but we've got a lot of work to do. There are over 1000 Title I schools in the area that are eligible for a Loads of Love Laundry Center and our grant application is open right now through the end of the year."
On winning the award for offensive player of the year, McLaurin said, "Especially this year, after the organization retired #49, it's such an honor to win an award named for Bobby Mitchell. We wouldn't be here without those who blazed the trails for us, and I hope his family knows the great respect I have for Mr. Mitchell. The work that I put in and the way I approach the game is with team players like him in mind."
The 2020 Welcome Home Luncheon also included a question & answer session between Julie, Santana and Prince George's County native, Kevin Durant. Among other topics, Durant discussed cherished memories of watching Santana and Sean Taylor compete on the field week in and week out. Last week, the Washington Football Team announced that it will rename a street near FedExField in Landover, MD, "Sean Taylor Road" and one leading up to the Inova Performance Center in Ashburn, VA, "Joe Gibbs Drive." Towards the end of the discussion was the announcement of the partnership between the Washington Football Charitable Foundation and the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation as they look to expand the resources available to Prince George's County residents through the Durant Center.
Fans can get updates via the Washington Football Team's website and through its social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To apply for a grant from the Washington Football Charitable Foundation, visit https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=wrcf.
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