Education has been a key focus for the Miami Dolphins for decades, and never has it been more important for kids to get the proper education they need in school than right now, in a world where lack of knowledge leads to extreme struggles later in life.
That's why early Monday morning, the Nat Moore Foundation - which now resides under the umbrella of the Miami Dolphins Foundation, and is the pillar of the foundation's education fund - gathered at Turnberry Isle to host their annual golf classic for the Nat Moore Endowment Fund.
"We started probably 25-26 years ago, we're raising money to send kids to college or to continue their education even through vocational trade public service." said Nat Moore. "One of the things I was challenged with by Steve Ross and Stuart Miller and some of the guys that have supported us dearly was, how do we help the most kids graduating from high school, get certified to go to work? So two years ago, we involved the vocation and trade, as well as scholarships."
Up until about two years ago, the event was hosted as an independent event by the Nat Moore Foundation, but now it enjoys the benefits of being a part of the Miami Dolphins Foundation, which gives them a little extra boost to help even more kids throughout Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties.
Jennifer Jehn, who is the senior vice president of the Miami Dolphins Foundation as well as the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, credits teamwork for the events being able to come together so seamlessly in spite of everything else they have on their plate already.
"Well it all starts with a really good team," said Jehn. "One of our values at the Miami Dolphins is teamwork. Teamwork at work is really our community initiative, and we're committed to leveling the playing field through the power of teamwork to inspire a healthier, more educated, united South Florida."
And to become more educated, it has to be a priority, and the Dolphins see it as such which is why they have a hand in so many of their alumni charities dedicated to helping the youth of South Florida. Nat Moore's Endowment Fund helps the high school graduates, the Jason Taylor Foundation's entire goal is empowering youth, and that's not even counting the things the franchise does of their own volition.
There's no question it's a priority, and everyone involved recognizes that.
"You have to change with the times," said former Dolphins fullback Keith Byars. "As long as you're well-educated, you can be adaptive ... you're giving kids an opportunity to get involved, through their education, with whatever field of technology, whatever what have you; you're gonna be prepared."
"One of the groundsmen, he was like, 'Sam, oh my God, I remember you coming to Nat Moore's tournament, he gave me a scholarship!' And now he's working for the Dolphins, having an opportunity to be a groundsman there." said former Dolphins cornerback and current Chiefs defensive backs coach Sam Madison. "Just one of those things, and there's many other stories in itself that we can go into, but those are the types of things where you go, you come back, see these kids that you had an opportunity to help hands-on, and then they're being successful."
Breaks aren't easy to find in this world, and so it's telling that the Miami Dolphins are attempting to lead the way in the NFL to try and give students in need of a little boost, just what they need to potentially find success. Sometimes, a chance is all that's needed, and the Dolphins embrace that and make dreams come true in ways that often gets overlooked.
Yes, they spent the day playing golf, someone even went home with a new car thanks to getting a hole in one...but the intention is unmistakable, and the success stories attached to it is undeniable. Lives are being changed thanks to the Miami Dolphins franchise, and there's no telling how the world could change thanks to the contributions made by folks who show they care, just by swinging a club on a Monday morning.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
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