Foundation Programs & Community Outreach
The VLF mission is to create innovative programs that provide access to educational, recreational and healthy living initiatives designed to positively aid in the development of youth.
United Way Spokesman
Vonta currently serves as a spokesman for United Way’s Initiative to Recruit Readers, Tutors and Mentors. This summer, Vonta joined United Way professionals and youth from around the country at the United Way Youth Empowerment Summit hosted at American University. The three-day event engages participants in identifying opportunities to improve the academic success of American students and create engagement opportunities for TEAM NFL Captains and their supporters to recruit readers, tutors and mentors. Vonta is the serves as the Baltimore Ravens representative.
TEAM NFL is a volunteer group of college-educated, civic-minded NFL players from teams across the league. The team members are committed to education opportunities and recruiting one million readers, tutors and mentors. As representatives of TEAM NFL, each player has a goal to recruit 3,000 volunteer pledges (99,000 total), accounting for almost 10 percent of the United Way recruitment goal. Click here to learn more about TEAM NFL.
Hire One Youth Spokesman
This year, Vonta teamed up with Baltimore Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and area business leaders to challenge every local employer to create opportunities for the young people of Baltimore by hiring at least one summer employee through the Hire One Youth Campaign. Through this program, our future workforce gets the experience and training they need to succeed and businesses get their choice of qualified candidates with relevant skills. Visit www.baltimorecity.gov/hireoneyouth to learn more and do your part to help Baltimore’s economy grow.
Healthy Living Days Spokesperson
In 2011, Vonta served as one of Baltimore’s Spokesman for the LiveHealthy Campaign. The campaign was established in 2010 to help address the negative health outcomes that plague Baltimore City residents. Baltimore LiveHealthy’s goal is to bring information, awareness and tools to residents in order to improve health outcomes.
As the organization’s signature event, Healthy City Days is a comprehensive, interactive initiative that engages Baltimore City residents and workers to focus on healthy lifestyle choices and preventive care. The core message of this week-long citywide effort is to get people eating right, exercising often and participating in other prevention-focused activities. In partnership with The Office of The Mayor, Baltimore City Health Department, other government and community agencies, non-profits, hospitals, local businesses and corporate sponsors, Baltimore LiveHealthy hosts nutrition and fitness demonstrations, screening events, lectures, health fairs, lunch and learns, and other interactive activities that increase people’s awareness and knowledge of important preventive practices.
The Vonta Leach Celebrity Weekend
Vonta hosts The Vonta Leach Foundation Celebrity Weekend, where he invites several NFL players to participate in events to help raise funds for local Rowland, North Carolina charities. This event enables the foundation to raise necessary funds for its many community, youth and family projects in Rowland and surrounding areas. The weekend activities include a Celebrity Basketball Game as well as a free youth football and cheerleading camp.
Shoot for a Cure Billiards Tournament
The Vonta Leach Foundation hosts its annual “Shoot for a Cure” Celebrity Billiards Tournament, in Baltimore, MD, to raise funds in support of breast cancer screenings and treatment for the underserved and uninsured individuals in
Baltimore and surrounding areas. More than 100 of Baltimore’s elite players gathered, along with sports celebrities, to participate at the event. Each sponsorship threesome is paired with a sports celebrity. The billiards tournament
provides an exclusive opportunity to mingle with celebrities, as well as to raise funds for the American Breast Cancer Foundation.
In an effort to spotlight education, Vonta sponsors a 6-week camp for youth ages 6-17, in the Rowland area. The camp features motivational speakers and encourages youth to continue and further their educational endeavors. The program also provides scholarships to high school seniors interested in attending a 4-year university.
Vonta’s Victories Ticket Program
The Vonta Leach Foundation created Vonta’s Victories to invite youth from accredited 501(c) 3 non-profit groups to attend Houston Texans regular season home games. Youth receive team memorabilia, a Vonta’s Victories T-shirt as well as food and beverages during the game. Youth must earn tickets by developing and implementing a community service project as a group. Leach has donated tickets to almost 1,000 youth since joining the team.
Giving Back. Giving Thanks.
In Houston, Vonta Leach teamed up with H-E-B, and Texans teammates WR Andre Johnson, LB DeMeco Ryans, and DT Mario Williams to help tackle hunger in the Houston area. The Houston Food Bank helped identify agencies that were in need. To date, over 4,000 families in the Houston-area have received groceries and fixings (including a turkey) for a Thanksgiving dinner.
In 2010, more families were assisted due to the generous contributions of the players
and the Texans owner, Bob McNair, who matched the amount contributed by the players, to help feed more families in the community.
Tis’ the Season: Shop with a Jock
Since 2007, Vonta Leach has hosted over 200 youth to attend his annual holiday shopping spree at Wal-Mart in Lumberton, North Carolina. Leach selects underprivileged youth, from ages 8-16 to attend the annual event. Leach has donated over $10,000 worth of gift cards to elementary-age children in Robeson County who can’t afford holiday gifts.
Touchdown for Health
The foundation co-sponsors Touchdown for Health, a free health fair, with the Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton, NC. The community health fair offers free sports physicals to the first 200 students who participate, free health screenings which include checks for total cholesterol and HDL; blood sugar; height, weight and body mass index; blood pressure; and peripheral vascular disease. Children of all ages enjoy activities such as bounces houses, a bungee run and healthy snacks during the event.
Vonta Leach Youth Football & Cheer Camp
In Lumberton, NC, Vonta hosts his annual youth football and cheerleading camp along with other NFL teammates. Over 1,500 youth have been impacted and taught football and cheerleading drills, as well as valuable character building lessons from the Pros. During the youth football camp, participants learn the fundamentals of football as well as leadership development, team building and self-improvement skills. The cheerleaders learn dance routines from Professional Cheer Instructors
Weight Room Renovations
Leach was the lead sponsor in his high school alma mater’s weight room renovation. The South Robeson High School Mustang’s renovated weight room bears his name. The weight room’s $13,000 face-lift includes eight individual workout stations, custom-embroidered upholstery and a rubberized floor. Dry erase boards and motivational sayings line the walls of the new and improved South Robeson weight room. For his contributions, the Mustangs named the weight room the Vonta Leach Strength Complex. The team can now focus on one weight lifting technique simultaneously, a feat unavailable to the Mustangs in previous years due to space.