Packers, USA Football Celebrate 3rd Annual 'Play Football Month'

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Packers to Host 300 Members of Area Pop Warner Teams at Friday's Game; Four Teams to be on Lambeau Field for National Anthem, Compete at Halftime

VIENNA, Va. and GREEN BAY, Wis. - The end of summer signals the beginning of the football season for millions of young players, their coaches, families and communities. For the third straight year, USA Football has teamed with the NFL and NFL Players Association to kick off the start of the football season with Play Football Month - the "World's Largest Youth Football Celebration." Play Football Month was created as a grassroots campaign to promote the sport of football at all levels - from youth leagues to the NFL - and includes clinics, skills competitions, scrimmages, picnics and parades for football fans in communities throughout the country.

To kick off the campaign, USA Football plans to award $500,000 in equipment grants to eligible youth football leagues throughout the month. Available equipment grants include a $25,000 grant and five hundred (500) $1,000 grants. For more information about Play Football Month and to access grant applications and eligibility requirements visit www.usafootball.com.

NFL teams are also donating more than 100,000 preseason game tickets to youth organizations and military personnel during the month.

In Green Bay, the Packers are celebrating Play Football Month by hosting approximately 300 members of the Duck Creek and East River Pop Warner teams at Friday's Packers-Titans game by supplying complimentary tickets. Also, four teams will line up next to the Packers and Titans on the field for the National Anthem. At halftime, the teams again will take to the field for a scrimmage. Earlier this month, at the Aug. 19 game against the Atlanta Falcons, four other area Pop Warner teams competed at halftime. In addition, Lambeau Field will adorn a special USA Football logo on the playing surface for Friday's game.

"Football fosters a sense of teamwork, builds self esteem and promotes sportsmanship," said USA Football Chairman Jack Kemp. "We hope that these grants will help the officials, parents and volunteers create the environment where a league can become successful and thrive in their community."

Youth leagues throughout the country are encouraged to register online to receive free Play Football Month celebration kits, which include eye-black, Donruss trading cards, wristbands, Gatorade sweatbands, and heat and hydration information. USA Football is also hosting a weekly photo and video contest on usafootball.com, where youth and high school football players, coaches and parents can send in creative pictures and videos from the season to win weekly prizes.

Former NFL star Rod Woodson, who played 17 seasons with Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Baltimore and Oakland, and earned 11 trips to the Pro Bowl, will serve as the Honorary Chairman of Play Football Month. Woodson, who currently works as an analyst for the NFL Network, is an avid supporter of youth football and annually hosts "Rod Woodson Youth Week" in his hometown of Ft. Wayne, Ind. In June, more than 850 kids participated in Woodson's football camp and youth week festivities.

"I'm excited to be involved with USA Football and Play Football Month because as an athlete I know first-hand how important sports can be in the development of a child," Woodson said. "I coach my daughter's basketball team, two of my sons are currently playing football right now and I have hosted a youth football clinic in my hometown for the last 13 years."

National print, radio and television messages about Play Football Month will begin appearing this month. Promotion for events will be coordinated locally through leagues and football organizations and community centers.

Founded in 2002 by the National Football League and NFL Player's Association, USA Football is an independent non-profit organization whose purpose is to support and expand football at all amateur levels. The first national advocacy group created for this purpose, USA Football enhances the development and operation of leagues, teams, coaches, parents and players across the country with resources and best practices such as coaching and health & safety information. The organization also serves as the designated United States representative to the International Federation of American Football.

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