New York Jets Lend Muscle to Support Newark Community

October 24, 2012
Newark

New York Jets players and members of the New Jersey National Guard installed the finishing touches on a new outdoor Trust for Public Land Fitness Zone®—a public fitness circuit featuring 11 workout stations—alongside 40 children from the Boys and Girls Club of Newark as part of the NFL's 14th annual Hometown Huddle, an NFL-wide day of service with United Ways across the nation.

In a partnership with The Trust for Public Land and United Way of Northern New Jersey and the United Way of Essex and West Hudson, Jets players, members of the New Jersey National Guard, and children from the Boys and Girls Club of Newark worked side-by-side to complete an outdoor fitness center in Jesse Allen Park now open to all area residents.

In addition to volunteering their time to improve the physical amenities at Jesse Allen Park, Jets players Antonio Allen, Josh Bush, Quinton Coples, Demario Davis, Marcus Dowtin, Donnie Fletcher, Jonathan Grimes, Matt Hardison, Damon Harrison, Stephen Hill, Royce Pollard and Jordan White along with members of the New Jersey National Guard, demonstrated exercises for the children to underscore the importance of making time to exercise every day.

"The Trust for Public Land is so pleased to be partnering with the New York Jets, United Way, MetLife Foundation, and Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to bring this first Fitness Zone® to Newark," said The Trust for Public Land's SVP and Chief Operating Officer Christopher K. Kay. "The Trust for Public Land Fitness Zone® program aims to create free and accessible ways to workout in communities that need it most. We have built Fitness Zones® in Los Angeles, Miami, and Tampa Bay to help communities—such as Newark, today—have easy access to regular exercise opportunities, which will increase their quality of life and life span overall."

"Across the region, our United Ways are committed to giving residents the tools they need to make healthy lifelong choices," said Keith Green, President and CEO of United Way of Essex and West Hudson. "We applaud the Jets and National Guard for joining us in showing our children how they can incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines. We hope the children will bring their parents back here and make exercising together a family habit."

A lack of physical activity and poor nutrition are major contributing factors of chronic diseases, which today are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The NFL and the Jets are equally as focused on promoting youth health and fitness through the NFL's PLAY 60 program. Throughout the year, players and representatives from the New York Jets make appearances at schools and community events to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes a day in order to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity.

"Hometown Huddle allows us to impact our community on a number of levels," said Jets President Neil Glat. "Working with The Trust for Public Land, The United Way and the New Jersey National Guard we can bring health, fitness and fun to the Boys and Girls Club of Newark, helping to enrich and improve our community."

"Thanks to the partnership we have built with The Trust for Public Land, coupled with the creativity and input from our Central Ward community, the dream of a modern, high quality park in our Central Ward is now a reality," said Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker. "We are especially excited to see the broadening of this partnership, manifested today by the presence of the NFL-United Way's "Hometown Huddle" with the New York Jets. How wonderful it is to see young people from the Boys and Girls Club of Newark helping to put the finishing touches on and launch the park's new Trust for Public Land Fitness Zone®. This outdoor space will play an integral role in developing healthy living habits that will last a lifetime."

About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, TPL has helped protect 3 million acres nationwide.

About The NFL and United Way
In 1973, the NFL and United Way of America forged a partnership that has become the sports industry's most visible and longest-running public service program, using players and other NFL personalities to promote community service through public service television ads. Throughout the years, United Way fundraising has soared from $800 million to $3.91 billion and the NFL-United Way partnership has evolved from a fundraising organization to a community services provider, on programs and services that far surpass the well-known television spots. Teams and their players support the local United Way chapters in their communities year-round through personal appearances, joint programs, and campaign contributions.

About United Way of Essex and West Hudson
Founded in 1923, the United Way of Essex and West Hudson is a non-profit organization that seeks to address the root causes of community concerns by aligning resources to best meet the needs of individuals, children and families through its service-area. Through our program initiatives and vision councils, the United Way moves beyond the surface of critical community problems to tackle their underlying causes. We understand that the various issues we face are interrelated and must be addressed together, and that no single group can do it alone. Our goal is to bring all sectors of the community together to work collaboratively in solving community problems. United Way of Essex and West Hudson mobilizes resources beyond the dollars that are pledged through fundraising efforts. We bring communities together to focus on the most important needs in the community by building partnerships, forging consensus on strategies that can make a measurable difference. United Way of Essex and West Hudson is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors, one-third of whom are elected annually. We serve a population of nearly 700,000 in thirteen communities in Essex and Hudson County

About United Way of Northern New Jersey
United Way of Northern New Jersey is a nonprofit organization working to improve people's lives and strengthen communities by focusing on Education, Income, and Health. These are the building blocks for a good life - a quality education that leads to a stable job; the tools needed to achieve financial stability; and good health. We lead caring communities to create long-lasting changes that transform people's lives. Together, united, we can inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow throughout Morris, North Essex, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren throughout Morris, North Essex, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties. Give. Advocate. Volunteer. LIVE UNITED.

About the New Jersey National Guard
Established in 1636, the National Guard is the oldest military organization in the United States. Three centuries later, the National Guard continues to be New Jersey's most powerful and visible force. The Citizen Soldiers of the New Jersey National Guard serve our country both at home and abroad. Whether the call is coming from the Governor or from the President of the United States, the New Jersey Guard Soldiers are always ready and always there.