Falcon Jacob Tamme Named Week 8 NFLPA Community MVP
The tight end treated military members and their families to a VIP Day at the movies
Editor’s Note: The NFLPA Community MVP recognizes players who are making a positive impact in their local communities. Each week, the NFLPA will celebrate one player who recently demonstrated his commitment to giving back and will make a donation to the player’s foundation or cause in support. This week’s #CommunityMVP is Atlanta Falcon Jacob Tamme for his superior charitable efforts benefitting U.S. Military members and their families.
As Military Appreciation Month approaches, Atlanta Falcon Jacob Tamme decided to celebrate early by treating active Atlanta-area military personnel, veterans and their families to a VIP movie experience on Monday, October 26.
“Hosting events and doing what I can to make our servicemen and women feel appreciated has been a big initiative of mine since coming into the league,” Tamme said. “They are true Americans and enable us to live safe and freely -- what better group to treat to a movie and some popcorn?”
Attendees got a sneak peek at “My All American,” which is due out in theaters on November 13. The featured film is based on the true story of the determination and commitment of University of Texas football player Freddie Steinmark.
In collaboration with the United Service Organization, the 30-year-old tight end invited 75 active military personnel and their families.
“Coming into a new market after having played in Indianapolis and Denver, it was important for me to pinpoint a military organization that I could work with here,” Tamme said. “The most amazing part of the USO is that it is solely dedicated to helping service people enjoy life outside of their duty.”
Through Homes for Our Troops and by a chance encounter, he was also able to host 26 veterans.
“There was a WWII veteran in a wheelchair who was coming to see a different movie with his caretaker,” Tamme explained. “We were so honored when they asked to join us instead.”
To ensure that all of his guests truly felt like VIPs for the day, Tamme mingled and took photos with them for nearly an hour prior to the film. He said he enjoyed giving the service members and their families something many take for granted – a night together at the movies.
“It’s fun to do something relatively simple, just a small act of kindness,” said Tamme. “There was one little boy there whose mom is currently stationed in Korea. Military families don’t always get to spend much time together.”
And at the end, he had trouble picking just one highlight of the experience.
“Just knowing they could have a fun evening out, as a small thank you for everything they’ve sacrificed, makes the event so worthwhile,” said Tamme.
“I love seeing their kids enjoy the experience, too. But maybe the best part was when a 70-year-old woman told me that I was the one she was yelling at on TV the other night. I hope she meant good yelling,” he added with a laugh.
STAYING ON COURSE
Tamme, alongside his wife Allison, hosted their sixth annual Swings for Soldiers Classic in July. The charitable golf tournament gathers current and former players and local celebrities for a round of golf to benefit Homes for Our Troops, which helps build specially adapted homes for wounded veterans.
In 2013, through his partnership with the organization, Tamme, a former NFLPA Player Representative, had a hands-on opportunity to assist with building a new, accessible home for Army Sergeant Kenneth Harker and his family.
The Tammes relish the opportunity to combine their love of golf with the opportunity to give back to a cause they are so passionate about. To date, the classic has raised more than $500,000 for Homes for Our Troops.
“The event just gets better and better each year,” said Tamme, who insists on being hands on with the planning process for the Classic. “We’ll be back in Kentucky in July for the 2016 tournament.”
UNIQUELY SERVING OTHERS
The University of Kentucky graduate likes having a full plate. He was a two-time All-SEC first team selection, held the school record for pass-catching as a tight end and completed his bachelor’s degree and an MBA before entering the NFL.
Last week, Tamme and teammates Matt Ryan and Jonathan Babineaux surprised a group of third grade students at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School in Atlanta. The players and students participated in a warm up exercise and stationed activities to get moving and active.
Tamme plans to continue giving back to the local community and working with the USO and Homes for Our Troops to benefit members of the armed services across the nation.
“During the holidays, the USO room at the airport is constantly full of service people passing through on their way home to their families,” Tamme said. “I plan to do some different events during that time. Whether it’s taking them lunches, helping to build the library, or any other contributions they need, I want to help make these men and women feel as appreciated as they deserve to be.”
-- Giordanna Easley
To keep up with Jacob Tamme and his charitable efforts, you can follow him on social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Also, learn more about Swings for Soldiers and visit the NFLPA Community MVP page for more information.
2015 NFLPA Community MVPs:
Week 1: Sam Barrington (Green Bay Packers)
Week 2: Justin Tuck (Oakland Raiders)
Week 3: Matt Forté (Chicago Bears)
Week 4: Cliff Avril (Seattle Seahawks)
Week 5: Vontae Davis (Indianapolis Colts)
Week 6: William Hayes (St. Louis Rams)
Week 7: Michael Thomas (Miami Dolphins)