May 24, 2012

Matt Light earns Pop Warner Humanitarian Award

ORLANDO, FL - Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., the nation’s largest and oldest youth football, cheer and dance organization, today announced the 2012 honorees to be recognized at the 52nd annual Pop Warner All-American Scholastic Banquet on May 26th at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort. Each year Pop Warner honors over nine thousand of its young athletes as All-American Scholars and recognizes notable professional athletes and industry leaders who serve as role models for Pop Warner’s participants. Pop Warner grants an average of $110,000 in annual scholarships, and in 2012 will award its one-millionth scholarship dollar.

Former New England Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light will receive the Pop Warner Humanitarian Award, presented to an individual who has demonstrated a lasting commitment to youth and the community. Light is the founder of the Light Foundation, which strives to instill responsibility, accountability and leadership in youth through unique outdoor learning experiences.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will receive the Pop Warner Inspiration to Youth Award, presented to an individual who inspires today’s youth to become the great achievers of tomorrow. McCoy’s success on and off the field makes him a prime role model for Pop Warner’s young athletes. He made an immediate impact in the NFL during his rookie year in 2010 and is dedicated to giving back through both personal charitable initiatives and team programs.
Head coach emeritus of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team Pat Summitt will receive the Pop Warner Female Achievement Award, presented to a woman who has demonstrated remarkable strength of character and leadership to attain achievements in her life that inspire others. Summitt has coached her teams to the most victories in NCAA basketball history and will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom this year. She is courageously battling early onset Alzheimer’s.

Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) DeMaurice Smith will receive the organization’s most prestigious award, the Warner Award, named after Glenn S. "Pop" Warner, and presented to an individual who has achieved excellence in athletics, scholarship, and life's endeavors with integrity and humanity. Smith played an instrumental role in facilitating a new collective bargaining agreement on behalf of NFL players to end the 2011 NFL Lockout.

“We are honored to recognize such a distinguished group of awardees at this year’s All-American Scholastic Banquet,” said Jon Butler, Executive Director of Pop Warner Little Scholars. “We are proud to share their inspirational stories and hard-earned accomplishments with the Pop Warner community and commend the lasting impact each individual has made on the sports industry.”

Also being honored at this year’s Banquet is inspirational speaker John O’Leary; and Science Cheerleader founder Darlene Cavalier, recipient of the Pop Warner Cheer Award. NFL Network Broadcaster Charles Davis will emcee the event. Pop Warner will present its NFL Team of the Year Award the night of the Banquet.


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