As the sun rises over Biscayne Bay on Dec. 28, players and coaches of the two teams in this year’s Orange Bowl Classic college football game will gather at the 46th annual Orange Bowl Prayer Breakfast at Jungle Island in support of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
Each year, Orange Bowl festivities include the Prayer Breakfast during which the FCA honors student-athletes, coaches, and communities that are committed to making a difference in young people’s lives through faith and fellowship.
And now it is that time of year when prospective event sponsors go into a huddle to consider which level of support they will demonstrate. In addition to individual tickets at $30 each, three sponsorship packages are available (register at www.miamifca.org):
Touchdown Sponsorship ($2,500): Front-row table for 10, table sign, full-page ad in the event program, and recognition at the event;
Field Goal Sponsorship ($1,500): Preferred table for 10, table sign, half-page ad in the event program, and recognition at the event, and
Adopt-a-School ($500): Help FCA enable student-athletes to experience the power of prayer and sports by sponsoring a table for your high school alma matter or an FCA high school of choice. Sponsors get a table for 10 students and recognition at the event.
This year’s keynote speakers are Glenn Blackwood and Don McNeal. Blackwood is a former NFL player who was captain of his team at the University of Texas before playing safety for the Miami Dolphins for 10 years. He ended his career with 29 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries. Blackwood was named one of the top 50 Miami Dolphin players in the team’s 50th anniversary celebration and was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
McNeil also is a former NFL player who played cornerback for the Miami Dolphins in the 1980s. Selected as a member of the University of Alabama’s “All Centennial Team,” he ultimately played in two Super Bowls with the Dolphins and twice was named Dolphins Player of the Year. In 2008, McNeil was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
The Prayer Breakfast also features guest speaker Javier Perez, a native of Cuba who graduated in 1991 from Miami’s Progresiva Presbyterian High School. A stellar two-sport athlete, in 1991 Perez led his high school baseball team to the state final four. He received a scholarship to Florida Memorial and now is the principal at South Dade Senior High School.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes consists of men and women who work alongside students and coaches developing relationships and programs to help them. Founded in 1954, FCA currently is active on 8,500 middle school, high school, and college campuses across the U.S.
“We facilitate Bible studies for coaches and coordinate chaplains to serve with their teams,” said Noah Wilbanks, FCA’s South Florida director. Formed in 1974, this chapter currently ministers on 80 school campuses in South Florida and has had the opportunity to mentor more than 1,000 at-risk youth who play sports and do not have fathers present in their lives.
“Our challenge is to turn the negative tide of what’s happening today within youth, schools, and sports. Too many of our young people are making wrong choices that carry with them disastrous consequences,” Wilbanks said.
“The Prayer Breakfast is a great opportunity to shine light on the work that our organization is doing for our youth in the community and to those individuals who are committed to making a difference in young peoples’ lives,” Wilbanks added.
Doors open Wednesday morning at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail on Watson Island, at 6:45 a.m. and the program begins at 7:30.
Register online at www.miamifca.org or send your check to FCA/Orange Bowl Breakfast, PO Box 140594, Coral Gables, FL 33114.
Please RSVP by Dec. 19. If reservations are made by Dec. 12, tickets will sent by U.S. Mail, otherwise they will be available at the will call desk the morning of the event. Seats and tables are assigned in order of date of reservations. For information and reservations, call 786-752-0845, or email email@example.com.