Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa was honored as United Way's "Hometown Hero" at the 24thAnnual Gridiron Gala for his commitment to making an impact in the community.
"Quincy is one of those people that really exemplified what it means to give back," said* *United Way of New York City president Sheena Wright. "He's so successful on the field, but he really takes the time and makes the effort to make sure he's giving back to the community. What's wonderful is that the Jets have nominated him. This is a pretty prestigious award to recognize those players that are exemplary. Quincy has done that and we need to lift him up, so that he can be an example for everyone else."
A sixth-round pick out of Nebraska in 2014, Enunwa has been a staple of the Jets' Hometown Huddle, Play 60 and Anti-Bullying campaigns.
"It's huge for me," Enunwa said of the honor. "You look at the guys who have won it in the past like Prince Amukamara and Eric Decker. I went to school with Prince and watched Eric growing up. And now that I'm the same team as him, it's great for me. I'm hoping the young guys that watch me go up there also do the same thing to help out in the community and have an opportunity to come out here and speak as well."
The Gala, which was attended by Darron Lee, Christian Hackenberg, Bruce Harper, Wesley Walker and Joe Namath, raised nearly $2 million to benefit the 2.7 million people who struggle to make ends meet.
"We are supporting our work with children who live in the neighborhoods with the highest complications of poverty in this city," said Ms. Wright. "Tonight supports their educational attainment, making sure they have all the tools they need to be successful academically and it also supports a new initiative we're doing with the NFL that's about building strong character and resilience. We are making sure kids have the tools they need in really trying circumstances to make the right choices. It's called 'Character Playbook.' We launched it just this year with 38 middle schools all across the city of New York and the Jets are also doing it in New Jersey. Every franchise in the NFL is doing it across 32 markets, so we're really proud and excited about that."
Jets WR Receives Award at the Annual Gridiron Gala in New York City
Namath, who is a regular attendee at the Gala that helps the United Way fight poverty across the five boroughs, praised Enunwa for his passion to the Jets' community platforms.
"He's a wonderful man, he works hard off the sports field. He does a great job with the team in the locker room and in the community he's gone out of his way to contribute and help out," he said.
While everyone enjoyed a fine dinner at the Gridiron Gala, one in four New Yorkers do not have enough income to pay for basic necessities. Enunwa plans on continuing to use his platform to help as the United Way focuses on education, income stability and health.
"The only way we can solve our problems is to do it collectively and we need people like Quincy to stand up, give a call to action and motivate people to do it," said Ms. Wright. "We're so happy, proud and pleased to partner with him and the Jets and honor him."