The Ravens did it all on Tuesday (11/16), from hosting a Special Olympics flag football tournament, to performing karaoke at a local retirement community.
Todd Heap Surprises Staff Member and Students at Local School
Dawn Arnold, cafeteria lead at Norrisville Elementary School (White Hall, Md.) received a surprise visit from Ravens tight end Todd Heap on Tuesday morning.
Arnold holds a "Ravens Day" breakfast every Friday for the students at the school. Each week, she decorates the cafeteria with purple and black, while providing students with the most important meal of the day.
To recognize her commitment to the children, the 10-year veteran tight end took it upon himself to add a little more Ravens spirit to the event. Nearly 80 students gathered in Arnold's cafeteria to listen as Heap – who is a strong supporter of the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign – spoke about the importance of starting the day off right.
After breakfast, the 2-time Pro Bowler stayed to sign autographs and pose for pictures with Arnold and her students.
Ravens Distribute Coats to Helping Up Mission**
With the winter months quickly approaching, a number of Ravens players visited Baltimore's Helping Up Mission on Tuesday to assist in the homeless shelter's annual coat distribution.
WR Anquan Boldin, DT Terrence Cody, QB Joe Flacco, WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, RB Matt Lawrence, G/T Bryan Mattison, G/T Tony Moll and LT Michael Oher lent their hands in distributing nearly 300 coats along with scarves and gloves to the members of the men's shelter.
In addition to the hometown football stars, members of the Lady Ravens Association, the Dunbar High School Football team, and Choo Smith – an original Harlem Globetrotter – all took part in the 7th Annual Coat Giveaway.
Since 1885, Helping Up has assisted Baltimore City's poor and homeless. Today, the shelter, which spans the entire 1000 block of East Baltimore Street, provides physical and spiritual support for members of the community.
To learn more about the Helping Up Mission, please visit http://community.helpingupmission.org
Jameel McClain Kicks off Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign
The Salvation Army kicked off its annual Red Kettle Campaign on Tuesday with a little help from Ravens starting linebacker Jameel McClain.
McClain, who once lived out of a Salvation Army shelter as a child, spoke to attendees about his personal experiences with the organization – expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to return the support.
After his introduction, the 250-pound Syracuse product presented awards to some of Salvation Army's top local supporters, handing each recipient a commemorative plaque to recognize their outstanding contributions.
The event concluded with the ceremonial first donation, where McClain and fellow supporters dropped a contribution into the iconic red kettle, launching the annual campaign, which runs from Nov. 16 to Dec. 24.
To learn more about the Salvation Army, please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org
Derrick Mason's Karaoke Tour
Accompanied by a KJ and a microphone, WR Derrick Mason showcased some of his lesser known talents on Tuesday by visiting residents at the Blakehurst Retirement Community for his annual karaoke tour.
Although it's clear that the Ravens wide receiver is much better suited as a professional football player than a singer, it didn't stop him from performing some of his favorite tunes – everything from The Temptations and Frank Sinatra, to Michael Jackson.
More than 80 residents at the Towson, Md. retirement center gathered to listen – and even join in – on the light-natured performance. Residents and staff teamed together for renditions of Sister Sledge's "We are Family," and The Supremes' "Stop! In the Name of Love."
Mason even pulled up one staff member's son to join him in singing The Temptations' "Ain't too Proud to Beg," which prompted cheers from the enthusiastic crowd. For his encore, Mason closed with his personal favorite – and go-to karaoke song – Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror."
In March 2010, the west Towson community of Chestnut Hill (home to Blakehurst Retirement Community) was named the No. 1 dream retirement area in the country by American Online's Neighborhood Scout, an independent company that analyzes data for AOL.
Ravens Host Special Olympics Flag Football Tournament**
Although Tuesday is the Ravens' one day off each week, the training facility's field house remained full of eager athletes as it hosted Special Olympics Maryland for an afternoon of flag football.
The Ravens invited four teams representing Baltimore County and Howard County to play in an indoor tournament as Ravens players, cheerleaders and organization members showed support from the sidelines.
One of those supporters was none other than QB Joe Flacco, who has been an avid contributor to Special Olympics Maryland since being drafted in 2008. Within the past two years, the Ravens quarterback has attended SOMD's Summer Games at Towson University and is a two-time participant of the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge. For 2011, Flacco will act as the Honorary Co-Chairman for the Plunge.
To show their appreciation for his active involvement, SOMD presented the Delaware-product with a football signed by each of the athletes, after which, the games began. Each team played in three 30-minute games, under the coaching of SOMD personnel as well as a few special guests.
LB Brendon Ayanbadejo, LS Morgan Cox, TE Todd Heap, WR Justin Harper and John Harbaugh offered their football prowess from the sidelines, and took time to speak with the athletes.
Only recently adopted as an official Special Olympics Maryland sport, the 2010 flag football season concluded with the state-level competition at Mount St. Mary's University at the end of October.
To learn more about Special Olympics Maryland, please visit http://www.somd.org/