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May 15th, 2002, 05:18 PM
Venus Williams Among 17 Professional Athletes Recognized By Florida Sports
May 15, 2002

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 15, 2002) -- The Florida Sports Awards announced today the Hometown Hero award winners for 2002. Each year, the organization honors individuals from each major league professional team and league who made significant contributions to youth in his or her community.

These individuals consistently mirror the mission of the Florida Sports Awards -- to benefit youth charities throughout the state of Florida. The Florida Sports Awards honors each athlete as a Hometown Hero and will recognize them during the live show, Saturday, June 8. On this evening, one of these athletes will receive the Jasper for being the Hometown Hero of the Year for their tremendous contributions to children.

'Each of these athletes is dedicated to enhancing the lives of children in their community,' said Andrew Jacobs, president and executive producer of the Florida Sports Awards. 'Their commitment to children is often unheralded and we feel this type of commitment needs to be recognized. To the children of Florida, they are true champions and genuine heroes.'

The following organizations nominated individuals as the Hometown Heroes for 2002:

ATP: Andy Roddick

Florida Marlins: Preston Wilson

Florida Panthers: Peter Worrell

Jacksonville Jaguars: Donovin Darius

LPGA Tour: Dottie Pepper

Miami Dolphins: Twan Russell

Miami Fusion*: Chris Henderson

Miami Heat: Alonzo Mourning

Miami Sol: Ruth Riley

Orlando Magic: Grant Hill

Orlando Miracle: Brooke Wyckoff

PGA Tour: Len Mattiace

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: John Lynch

Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Greg Vaughn

Tampa Bay Lightning: Jassen Cullimore

Tampa Bay Mutiny*: Ali Curtis

WTA Tour: Venus Williams

One of these athletes will receive the Hometown Hero of the Year

Jasper live at the Seventh Annual Florida Sports Awards on Saturday, June 8, 2002. The show broadcasts live from the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Jacksonville. The local show airs exclusively on NBC 12 WTLV and WOKV 690 AM in Jacksonville and begins at 7 p.m. The state show begins at 8 p.m. and broadcasts on WTLV and WOKV in Jacksonville and on Sunshine Network across the rest of the state. Check local listings for additional information.

The Florida Sports Awards, a not-for-profit organization, is the official sports awards show for the state of Florida. Broadcast live throughout the state, the organization presents Jaspers to honor the top sports performances of the year on the First Coast and the top professional athletes, coaches and teams in the entire state each June. Proceeds from the Florida Sports Awards benefit underprivileged youth charities across Florida, including the Otis F. Smith Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides programs and services to underprivileged youth in North Florida. For more information, visit www.jaspers.com.

May 15th, 2002, 05:19 PM
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