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New Orleans Saints celebrated 16th annual United-Way Hometown Huddle

By Connor Tarter

The New Orleans Saints celebrated the 16th annual NFL-United Way Hometown Huddle on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at Hispanic Apostolate. Photos by Connor Tarter. (New Orleans Saints photos)

New Orleans Saints players Vinnie Sunseri, Tim Lelito, Terron Armstead, Tavon Rooks and Saints Ambassador Michael Lewis  participated in the 16th annual NFL-United Way Hometown Huddle at Hispanic Apostolate in Kenner on Tuesday. The players signed autographs, posed with students for photographs and participated in multiple drills, each aimed at a different football technique.

"I love it. I love the opportunity to get out here and make a small splash in the community. I have kids of my own, so I love playing with them," said Armstead,  the team's starting left tackle. "I really didn't have this in my community, so things like Play 60 and United Way Hometown Huddle are doing things all around the country with all 32 teams that are giving kids a lot of opportunities that I never had."

The Saints have provided the school with a revamped play area, complete with an Xbox Kinect and multiple sports games, a flat screen television, Ping-Pong table, pool table and bean bag chairs. The newly furnished room also sports a number of Saints-themed decorations.

Additionally, the Saints provided the school with a number of exercise machines and fitness accessories in a separate area away from the play room. The equipment will be used by the children to help them reach their goal of 60 minutes of play time every day.

"On Sundays, we watch the Saints play and see them in uniform, competing on the field. These are examples of ways that they do great work off the field, as players and as an organization," United Way of Southeast Louisiana President and CEO Michael Williamson said. "When the community sees that, I think beyond the way they perform on the field, they see great hope for the community. The players, the administration care so much about the community."

The United Way's partnership with the NFL is the longest running partnership in history between a major sports league and a nonprofit organization. The NFL and United Way have a 40-plus year history of positively impacting communities.

Saints players, Saintsations, and staff were in attendance to help engage the youth in their new fitness zones and teach them how to use the equipment properly.

Additional donors and supporters to the Hispanic Apostolate for this years Hometown Huddle Event include:

Comfort Research – Fuf Chairs
Lowe's – Cabinets, furniture and sand for sand box
Richie Savoie's New Orleans Audio Video – installation of flat panel TV
Fathead – Wall decals and decor

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