The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation received the first Legacy Award from the Loudoun School-Business Partnership on Friday in Leesburg, Va.
Thirty-two years ago, Michael Lo Presti, about to graduate from Broad Run High School, asked legendary Redskins safety Mark Murphy if he would deliver the commencement speech to his school. Murphy obliged and even invited Lo Presti to his home to see his Super Bowl ring and meet his family.
That's why, on Friday at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Va., it was so personally fulfilling for him to name the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation as the first recipient of the Legacy Award, honoring a business that has gone above and beyond for Loudoun County Students.
Lo Presti, Chairman of the Loudoun School-Business Partnership Executive Council, handed the award to Jane Rodgers, executive director of the Charitable Foundation, who helped the organization impact more than 20,000 students and gift $224,382 in grants and funding during 2015 alone.
Over the past year, WRCF has served 40 Loudoun County Public Schools, with 15 participating in the newly revamped Redskins Read Program and 11 participating in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
"This means so much to me and my team because we do live here, and we care about this community," Rodgers said. "It's incredible to be honored in this way for the work that we do as a team and to know that our players and our coaches also live here and that people feel like we're giving back in a way that they value. It's very special."
In her speech, Rodgers invoked the original vision that Redskins owner Dan Snyder, and his wife, Tanya Snyder, had when they took over the team – namely the need for a Charitable Foundation for its value in so many communities throughout the DMV area.
The WRCF has become the recipient of the first Legacy Award for going above and beyond for Loudoun County Students. The award was presented at 8 a.m. on Friday, March 11, at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Va.
Redskins President Bruce Allen and Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams also attended the breakfast, which awarded other businesses for their strong relationships in the school system.
"It's not necessary because we really enjoy what we do," Allen said of the receiving the award. "I'm very proud of all our players and coaches who get involved in these activities. It's nice recognition, but we're going to keep doing what we've been doing and we're proud to do it."
What has made this particular partnership with Loudoun County School System so rewarding recently has been the addition of a new turf football field at Park View High School, donated school supplies, the growth of the Redskins Read Playbook program and countless opportunities for personal interaction between the team's players and students.
"I feel like we must be doing something right," Rodgers said. "It makes us feel great to know that we're on target because we do try to listen to Loudoun County Public Schools so that we can do things that are complementary to the programs that they're doing."
Exactly what a partnership is all about.