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Miami Dolphins drafting "Special Teams" of volunteers

special1.jpgWith such a large and loyal fan base, the Miami Dolphins have found a way to tap into the hearts and minds of their fans by offering them a chance to be part of a corps of team volunteers.

Called “Special Teams,” the initiative is aimed at encouraging Dolphins fans to pledge hours volunteering with the team across South Florida - and beyond - in events and programs ranging from this morning’s Treemendous Miami Earth Day tree planting and tonight’s NFL’s draft parties to the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run later this month to helping out during emergencies, such as hurricanes. Future opportunities could include cleaning parks and painting schools.

The volunteer corps allows fans to become involved in a community project alongside Dolphins players and executives without having to write a check. They’ll get a “Special Teams” T-shirt to wear at volunteer events.

“This is a terrific opportunity to really put volunteerism on the map,” Dolphins Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Adam Grossman said. “We want to be a resource for people. The goal is for us to be everywhere at all times.”

The effort borrows from the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee’s volunteer program, which drafted thousands of volunteers, who helped staff events leading up to and during Pro Bowl and Super Bowl this year. Leslie Nixon, who oversaw volunteer services for the host committee, is serving as manager of the volunteer program for the Dolphins Foundation.

With this being National Volunteer Week and the NFL Draft starting tonight, the team picked today to launch a volunteer-a-thon “draft” with broadcast partner CBS4 and Neighbors 4 Neighbors. CBS4 is hosting a phonebank from 5 to 7 p.m. for fans to pledge volunteer hours. Call 305-597-4404 to pledge hours. Fans can also sign up at draft parties the team is hosting tonight at Sun Life Stadium, Duffy's Sports Grill in North Palm Beach and Johnny Malloy's Sports Pub in Bonita Springs. The team is also offering gifts - such as team gear and tickets -- depending on the number of hours pledged.

“People can pledge any amount of hours they feel comfortable doing,” Nixon said in a statement. “We’re hoping to collectively reach at least 10,000 pledged hours on draft day.”

Grossman said the idea is not only to increase volunteerism in South Florida, but also to give fans a deeper relationship to the team.

“We want to connect people with the team,” Grossman said. “There’s also this grass roots element. People feel great about giving back. That’s the fundamental commitment of our organization as well. We want as many people as possible to come along for the ride.”

For more information and to check out volunteer opportunities, visit

Categories: Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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