Amazing Race – Ravens Style Comes to the Maryland Zoo

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More than 100 Youth Compete in The Amazing Race – Ravens Style

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Nearly 120 students from Baltimore's City Springs Elementary School participated in The Amazing Race – Ravens Style at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore on Tuesday (10/19).

Fourth and fifth graders raced through the Maryland Wilderness, the African Journey and the Arctic as they completed designated tasks that combined educational programming with physical activity – everything from hopping like frogs across lily pads, to waddling in a penguin-style relay.

Ravens WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh even took his turn mimicking the cranes' signature dance moves, as he led a team of students through the scavenger hunt inspired by the hit reality TV show. The receiver's competitive drive on the gridiron translated to an impressive second-place finish for his team of grade-schoolers.

Along with Houshmandzadeh, OLB/DE Edgar Jones, G/T Bryan Mattison and over 70 volunteers were in attendance to support the participants in their journey through the zoo grounds. Ravens cheerleaders and Poe offered cheers for the contestants that raced by.

For the race, students were divided into groups of four, with one adult team leader assigned to each. As the teams ventured through the various zoo locales, completing the assigned challenges on their route cards, they crept closer to the race's conclusion – The Big Finish.

Before teams could cross the finish line, a wall of shoeboxes held the final task. Each student had to search for their appropriate box – marked with his or her name – to discover a brand new pair of Under Armour tennis shoes. After participants laced up their new sneakers, they sprinted to the finish line.

After everyone had completed the race, Houshmandzadeh and Jones joined Poe and the cheerleaders to sign autographs and pose for pictures with the students and volunteers.

This was the second consecutive year the Ravens, along with the Maryland Zoo and the United Way of Central Maryland, have hosted The Amazing Race – Ravens Style in conjunction with the NFL and United Way's Hometown Huddle, which unifies all 32 NFL teams in a collective day of service.

Ravens Continue to Promote Play 60 Challenge with Local Schools

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Ravens players visited more Baltimore-area schools on Tuesday (10/19) to further promote the Ravens Play 60 Challenge, which encourages youth to engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for a period of six weeks.

On Tuesday morning, LB Jameel McClain visited with more than 40 students at the Garrison Forest School. The Ravens starting linebacker spoke with members of the all-girls school about the importance of daily exercise and encouraged them to participate in the Play 60 Challenge, where they will have chances to win a number of Ravens prizes such as Play 60-branded footballs, water bottles, jump ropes and miniature basketball hoop sets.

Later in the afternoon, LB Brendon Ayanbadejo joined LB Jason Phillips in holding an assembly for the students at St. Ignatius Loyola Academy. Over 60 students at the all-boys school listened as the Ravens players spoke about the benefits of a healthy nutrition coupled with regular exercise.

Aside from encouraging the boys to include more fruits and vegetables into their daily diets, Ayanbadejo reminded them that there are plenty of ways to stay physically active, including rollerblading and skateboarding.

Four members of the audience demonstrated their eagerness to become more active by participating in a two-on-two relay race consisting of push-ups, jumping jacks and knee-ups.

The Ravens Play 60 Challenge will include over 15,000 elementary and middle school students throughout the Baltimore region.  By reaching specified benchmarks, participating students will be awarded prizes donated by the Baltimore Ravens. One lucky student from each school will be invited to the Ravens vs. Buccaneers game (11/28) and take part in a pre-game ceremony. Additionally, the top three performers from each of the participating schools will attend a prize luncheon in the spring of 2011.

Ben Grubbs Supports Big Brothers Big Sisters

Ben Grubbs appeared at M&T Bank Stadium on Monday (10/18) night in support of The Biggest Little Tailgate Party presented by M&T Bank.

The Ravens guard greeted and spoke with fans, signed autographs and posed for pictures at the event to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maryland and the Maryland Mentoring Partnership.

The night was full of on-field activities, as visitors could take their turn attempting field goal kicks, participating in a quarterback challenge and working their way through a football obstacle course. Off the field, the event hosted celebrity chefs, a chili cook-off and a wing-eating contest in the stadium's club level.

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maryland and the Maryland Mentoring Partnership, visit www.biglittle.org.

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