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February 11, 2006

United Way and NFL Players Team up for Annual Fundraising and Community Service Weekend

February 11, 2006

Media Contact: Michelle Wade
203.772.2010, Ext.202

Over 30 NFL Players, Including Former New England Patriot Joe Andruzzi, Expected to Attend

25 NFL players from 15 teams will arrive in New Haven on March 10th for a weekend of events and community service projects. United Way of Greater New Haven, in conjunction with J.L. Sports, will host the 13th Annual NFL Players Weekend.

The weekend will kick off on Friday, March 10th, with a lunch honoring the New Haven Police and Fire Departments hosted by Fireside Restaurant, as well as player visits to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of New Haven.

Friday evening will feature an “open to the public” Celebrity Bartending Happy Hour, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., at Hula Hank’s Island Bar at 216 Crown Street in New Haven, followed by a reception where you can join the players for dinner, dancing and bidding at the annual Celebrity Auction to be held in the Omni New Haven Hotel ballroom from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Items such as signed sports memorabilia, an African Safari Vacation package, Romantic getaways, Gourmet packages and more will be available for bidding at this gala event. Tickets for the NFL Celebrity Auction are still available and can be purchased for $50 in advance or at the door. Please call Kathleen Norwood at United Way of Greater New Haven at 772-2010 ext. 213, or log onto www.uwgnh.org.

On Saturday, March 11th, Town Fair Tire, Comcast and Yale University will sponsor the United Way NFL Players Youth Clinic and later that evening the “Bowl with the Pros” event will take place at AMF Lanes in Hamden, CT, where NFL players will be available to autograph their photos from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Companies or individuals can “bowl with a pro” by purchasing a lane for four guests and one NFL player from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

All proceeds from the weekend benefit United Way of Greater New Haven and the work they do in Greater New Haven.

"This event has become one of the biggest sports charity events in New England", said Joe Linta, President of New Haven-based JL Sports, the agency which represents the visiting NFL players. "Our players look forward to coming to New Haven to support United Way and their efforts to improve lives in this community."

Among NFL Players expected to attend are former New England Patriot Joe Andruzzi, who now plays for the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots’ Brandon Gorin, Dan Koppen and Russ Hochstein as well as Chukky Okobi and Russell Stuvaints from this year’s Super Bowl Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Visit www.uwgnh.org/nfl.cfm for a full weekend schedule and up to the minute player and auction news.

Event sponsors include The New Haven Register, Clear Channel, News Channel 8 and UPN 9, Stop and Shop and UHY.

Confirmed Players (as of 2/8/06)
Baltimore Ravens: Robb Butler #45 (S)
Buffalo Bills: Brian Moorman #8 (P)
Liam Ezekiel #50 (LB)
California U of Penn: Antoine Bagwell #46 (RB)
Carolina Panthers: Casey Cramer #49 (FB)
Cincinnati Bengals: Brad St. Louis #48 (LS)
Scott Kooistra #75 (T)
Cleveland Browns: Dave Yovanovits #68 (T)
Joe Andruzzi #63 (G)
Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Golliday #45 (TE)
Kevin Sampson #79 (T)
Minnesota Vikings: Matt Birk #78 (C)
Mike Rosenthal #75 (T)
New England Pats: Brandon Gorin #76 (T)
Dan Koppen #67 (C)
Russ Hochstein #71 (G)
New York Giants: Jason Whittle #65 (G)
Philadelphia Eagles: Dominic Furio #75 (C)
Todd Herremans #79 (T)
Matt McCoy #51 (LB)
Hank Fraley #63 (C/G)
Pittsburgh Steelers: Chukky Okobi #56 (C)
Russell Stuvaints #33 (DB)
San Diego Chargers: Jacques Cesaire #74 (DE)
San Francisco 49ers: Renauld Williams #59 (LB)
Syracuse University: Quinn Ojinnaka #69 (OT)
U of Pittsburgh: Charles Spencer #56 (OL)
Villanova U: Darrell Adams #90 (DE)


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