Lott IMPACT Trophy | Honoring College Football's Defensive Best

“IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, THE MIND CAN ACHIEVE IT.”

-RONNIE LOTT

Lott Winners Continue to Make an IMPACT

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NEWPORT BEACH, Ca. – Each December, supporters of the Lott IMPACT Trophy have the opportunity to meet four extraordinary young student-athletes who are the finalists for one of the most prestigious awards in American sports.

The athletes are poised, humble and confident.  They dazzle all in attendance at the annual awards banquet. They have accomplished much as collegiate stars and, the majority of them, are en route to more of the same at the professional level.

But it is the character of these young men that most impresses those who meet them.  Their commitment to community and their willingness to share is the most lasting impression.

And, moving forward, those men have not disappointed.

From Los Angeles to Buffalo and all throughout the nation, the winners and finalists of the Lott IMPACT Trophy have done just that – they have made an IMPACT.

As 2013 keynote speaker Tim McCarthy, the secret service agent who took a bullet for President Ronald Reagan,  said so eloquently: “This is not an award you put on the mantle or in the trophy case, this is an award you live!”

 

Anthony Barr — 2013 Lott IMPACT Trophy winner from UCLA, now a starting linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, puts his efforts in to aiding single mothers.

“Raise the Barr” is committed to single mothers in the desire to further their higher education.  “Our goal is to assist mothers in their efforts to overcome poverty and/or difficult financial circumstances, likely changing the trajectory of their lives and the lives of their children.”

Barr was raised by a single mother, Lori, who worked as a teacher’s aide during the day, a restaurant server in the evenings and taking college classes. She earned a bachelor’s degree and then her master’s.

Barr realizes that countless other women were in the same position Lori found herself 24 years ago.

Of the 12 million single-parent families in the United States, more than 80 percent are headed by women. Of those single-mother-led households, 40 percent fall below the poverty line. For single mothers with a college degree, however, that poverty rate is decreased to 16 percent.

“The best way to break that cycle [of poverty] is to obtain higher education,” Barr said. “We’re hoping to provide some relief, and I’m hoping it’s going to be beneficial for everyone.”

Barr’s goal for his foundation is to raise monies in order to provide 10 single mothers with a $10,000 scholarship.

“They can use the scholarships to go to college, go back to college, go to trade school or even use the money for childcare, for some financial relief that way,” Barr said. “There will be a couple different ways that we’re hoping to help single mothers.”

Launching the foundation less than a month after Mother’s Day seemed fitting. Barr is excited to not only make a difference in people’s lives, but to do so alongside his mother, who sacrificed so much for him to get to this point.

“This was something that just felt right at the right time,” Barr said. “It only made sense – we both lived through the situation, and we just wanted to help provide support for the next person.”

 

Jerry Hughes — 2009 Lott IMPACT Trophy winner from TCU, now a starting defensive end for the Buffalo Bills, puts his efforts into high school football – and much more.

He donates $15,000 every year to Fort Worth, Texas’ North Side High School’s Football Program, where his former teammate, Joseph Turner, is the head coach. Turner explained that Hughes’ first $15,000 donation in July of 2015 gave the kids new weight room equipment, uniforms, cleats, and gloves. Hughes has made positively impacting communities a priority as he states, “I always wanted to give back and now that I have the financial means, I can do so.”

In December of 2016, Hughes chose those serving and who have served in the U.S. Army for the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats.”  This program gives NFL players a chance to honor causes, charities, or services dear to them by displaying and playing in custom cleats during Week 13 of the NFL Season.  Hughes revealed his camo custom cleats during a video on Twitter captioned, “#mycleatsmycause for all the brave men and women who are serving and those whom have served.”

Hughes recently participated in teammate LeSean McCoy’s annual Shades of Greatness home run derby in hopes of raising awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  He won the derby with five home runs.

Hughes finished the 2016 NFL Season with 48 Tackles and 6 sacks for the Bills.

 

David Pollack — 2004 Lott IMPACT Trophy winner from Georgia, now a highly regarded announcer for ESPN. He has a foundation that reaches out to families with a message to get and stay healthy.

“To educate individuals, families and communities on the benefits of nutrition and exercise, and provide them opportunities to embrace healthy living through eating well and physical activity” his mission statement says. “Our Vision is a nation of healthy families!”

The Pollack Family Foundation was founded on three pillars “Whole. Life. Health.” with the mission towards raising awareness against childhood obesity. The first pillar, “Whole”, is meant to represent each person through complete physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social health. The second pillar, “Life”, represents a sense of vibrancy and energy in each person by not only emphasizing diet and exercise but also of “life-giving” through faith. The last pillar, “Health”, represents creating a lifestyle of excellent nutrition by taking care of our bodies and viewing them as a gift from above.

 

J.J. WATT — 2010 Lott IMPACT Trophy winner from Wisconsin, now one of the brightest stars in the NFL, playing for the Houston Texans, he has been named the Defensive Player of the Year three times in his career.  His foundation is mostly dedicated to assisting after-school activities.

JJ Watt Foundation: Our mission is to provide after-school opportunities for middle-school aged children in the community to become involved in athletics, so that they may learn the character traits of accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic, and perseverance, while in a safe and supervised environment with their peers.

The JJ Watt Foundation has provided funding in excess of $3,000,000 to 6th – 8th grade after school athletic programs and organizations. We could not have achieved this milestone without the continued support of our amazing fan base and sponsors in the community, and we commit to work hard to fund the next $3,000,000!

 

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