Even back in his playing days, Jason Taylor always seemed to have his finger on the pulse of the South Florida community, and now that he's retired, he's been able to devote even more time to trying to make a difference in the lives of those who could use a helping hand or two.
The Jason Taylor Foundation put together yet another fantastic event, this one based around the golf course as they hosted their 13th annual Celebrity Golf Classic, starting with a kickoff dinner and auction with over 350 people at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Kuro, the resort's latest culinary innovation.
"Thirteen years of doing this is a lot," said Jason Taylor, who won the NFL's Man of the Year Award back in 2007. "It's really a lot for people like the Seminole Tribe, the Hard Rock, all these sponsors that year after year we come back to them, pounding on the door for big checks, and they keep stepping up and doing it."
The Holtz Children Hospital received a check for $50,000, and the Take Stock in Children Organization received a check for $33,000, and the rest of the night continued on with attendees and celebrities mingling and having a wonderful time.
Some rare appearances were made by several professional athletes, including Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. There were also former teammates of Taylor, such as former Dolphins kicker Olindo Mare and running back Ronnie Brown, who ranks third in Dolphins franchise history in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
"It's always good," Brown said. "Jason and the Jason Taylor Foundation, they do a lot in the community. They give back, they're involved in a lot of changes in kid's lives for the better, so it feels good to be a part of that."
Even an old teammate from Taylor's short time with the New York Jets made an appearance, as former Jets linebacker and current CBS NFL analyst Bart Scott came to support the event.
Ever since he played with the Jets a long, long time ago, he gave me an invite and I've been a mainstay. I think I missed one year because of surgery. But other than that, it's a great event, it's a great cause, he's a class act. He's the type of guy that I think the NFL should put more on a pedestal and uplift. What he did as a player but also what he's doing post-career, instill his commitment to the community and to the kids which he supports."
Early the next morning, the event continued at the Grande Oaks Golf Club in Davie, Florida, where the celebrities, which now included former Miami Heat star center Alonzo Mourning and NFL centers Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, paired up with attendees and teed up for a round of golf that was sure to be remembered for a very long time.
At the end of the event, over $125,000 total was raised for the Jason Taylor Foundation thanks to this event, and that money will be going back out to impact kids all across South Florida.
You don't get to be a man of the year without having a heart for the community, and it's abundantly clear that Jason Taylor's love for South Florida and its residents hasn't faded in the slightest, as kids have benefited from his philanthropy for years, and future generations will no doubt be thanking him for many years to come.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
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