Calling all local NFL legends: Your mentorship is needed!

Dozens of NFL players hail from Southwest Florida, and the All-Star Classic has provided the first big resume highlight for many of them. The Rotary Club of Fort Myers South now wishes to put out a call to these role models to attend the 26th Annual All-Star Classic Banquet 6 p.m. on Monday Dec. 8 at Harborside Event Center, which kicks off the three-day event and includes a mentoring session to inspire the next generation of athlete leaders. Special arrangements can be made for NFL players to attend this VIP gathering with the 2014 all-stars by calling John Doramus at (239) 634-8286.

The Dec. 8 recognition and awards banquet honors Lee County’s all-star senior football players and cheerleaders. Prior to dinner, the more than 60 players chosen to play the North vs. South Lee County high school All-Star Classic football game on Dec. 10 will gather upstairs at Harborside. This is an exciting opportunity for our prestigious alumni to impart their valuable experience to our young football heroes just days before the final high school game of their careers.
Football players who have played in the Rotary South All-Star Classic and gone on to NFL careers (with graduation year, high school and NFL team[s] include: Sammy Watkins (2010, South Fort Myers, Buffalo Bills), Aaron Lynch (2010, Island Coast, San Francisco 49ers), Tre Boston (2009, North Fort Myers, Carolina Panthers) Jaylen Watkins (2009, Cape Coral, Philadelphia Eagles), (Tommy Bohanon, 2008, North Fort Myers, New York Jets), Quinton Pointer (2005, Mariner, St. Louis Rams), Nate Allen (2005, Cape Coral, Philadelphia Eagles), Jeremy Ware (2004, Lehigh, Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears), Micah Rucker, 2003, Estero, Pittsburgh Steelers; Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants), Corey Lynch, 2002, ECS, Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Matt Prater, 2001 Estero, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos), Phillip Buchanon (1998, Lehigh, Oakland Raiders; Houston Texans; Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins), Earnest Graham (1997, Mariner, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Anthony Henry (1995, Estero, Cleveland Browns; Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions), Jevon Kearse (1994, North, Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles), Greg Spires (1992, Mariner, New England Patriots; Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Jammi German (1992, Fort Myers, Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns).
Bell Tower Shops has generously stepped up to support the 26th Annual Rotary South All-Star Classic as its Title Sponsor. Every year, a handful of NFL players also step up as mentors to these incredible kids. It’s an unforgettable experience for these young people and their role models alike. In 2013, All-Star Classic Alums Earnest Graham and Jammi German were in attendance, along with NFL players Ryan Benjamin (Bucs/Patriots), Troy Drayton (Dolphins) and Rick Upchurch—one of the 300 best NFL players of all time (Broncos).

The day after the banquet, area youth, ages 6-14, are invited to a free Miami Dolphins Youth Football Clinic at Fort Myers High on Tuesday, December 9. On Wednesday, December 10, the popular football game between North and South high school all-star players will take place at Fort Myers High School’s Sam Sirianni Field in Edison Stadium.

The annual Rotary South All-Star Classic football game showcases the best senior players from across Lee County’s public and private high school football teams. Participating players and cheerleaders are nominated by their head coaches, and become eligible to receive recognition as an MVP or scholar-athlete. The players come together on teams, competing against each other as North vs. South, representing one of the final challenges these players will face in their high school football careers. Each of the football players and cheerleaders are presented with a customized commemorative ring or charm.

Sanibel resident and football enthusiast John Carrigan founded the Rotary South All-Star Classic in 1989. This event was the first countywide organized football game in the state of Florida. Carrigan’s vision of football paired with fundraising has continued since then under the continued leadership of Rotary South. Proceeds from the event are used to support college scholarships, as well as grants for local community organizations.

The Rotary Club of Fort Myers South is currently seeking donations and sponsors to help cover the cost of this annual event. Area businesses or individuals can sponsor the event, a team, player or cheerleader. There are also opportunities to advertise in the event program featuring the student athletes that are being honored. For more information on sponsorship or ticket sales, please contact John Doramus at globalpriorityone@yahoo.com or (239) 634-8286.

About Fort Myers South Rotary
Fort Myers South Rotary is part of the Fort Myers community located in tropical southwest Florida on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Rotarians of the club invite guests to visit their weekly lunch meetings, or visit them online to learn more about their club and activities. Meetings are held each Monday at 12:00 PM at the Crowne Plaza located at 13051 Bell Tower Drive. Visit them online at http://www.rotarysouthftmyers.org/ for more information.