DANIA BEACH – The Miami Dolphins rookie class alongside Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC) board members, Dolphins staff, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center representatives and officers of the Broward Sheriff's Office participated in a #DolphinsHuddlefor100 service project for Rebuilding Together Broward to beautify the home of cancer fighter Lena Mackeroy on Tuesday, June 11.
Mackeroy is currently receiving treatment at Sylvester, the beneficiary of the DCC. Founded in 2010 by the Miami Dolphins organization as the signature initiative of the Foundation's health area, the DCC's mission is to improve people's lives through financial support for innovative cancer research at South Florida's only academic-based cancer center – Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth -- the University of Miami Health System. Since its inception, the DCC has raised more than $32 million, donating 100 percent of participant-raised funds to Sylvester.
"I am thankful from the bottom of my heart. This house is falling apart right around me and because of the cancer, I am not working or have the income for it," Mackeroy said. "I never thought it would actually happen but it was when I saw everyone pulling up that I knew this was for real and I am so overjoyed."
Guided by Rebuilding Together Broward and funded through the Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency's At Home Dania Beach program, participants worked to landscape, paint and make other improvements to Mackeroy's home. This marks the fourth community service event the Dolphins rookies have participated in during their tenure on the team. The entire rookie class participated in the event.
"People look up to us and we have a platform not a lot of other people have to give back to the community so to be able to help her out, paint her house and plant plants, it means a lot to them and it means a lot to me," Miami Dolphins Rookie Andrew Van Ginkel said. "I had a little sister die before I was born (from cancer) and it means a lot to me to be able to give back in that regards and helping other people going through the same thing she had to go through. It's a difficult situation, you just pray and wish them the best, and that's why we are all out here to help in any way we can because you never know what a person is going through or how difficult their life may be."
Photo gallery: rookie Rebuilding Together.
"This kind of partnership with the Dolphins over the last four years helps us do what we do. The projects that we get them on, they come in, accomplish what we need and it gets done," Rebuilding Together Director of Operations Jason Mann said. "It is great to have a team of dedicated volunteers. You can tell the difference between people that have to be here and people who want to be out here and always with the Miami Dolphins team; they always want to be here. It is good to work with the Dolphins team every year because they actually care about the community and they want to be in the community helping."
This event is part of an ongoing series of the #DolphinsHuddlefor100 service projects as part of the NFL's 100th celebration. The NFL has invited fans, players, clubs and employees to join Huddle for 100, an effort to inspire 1 million people to volunteer 100 minutes of their time to make meaningful contributions to their communities. These activities are in connection with the Miami Dolphins' initiative to level the playing field through the power of teamwork to inspire a healthier, more educated and united South Florida community.
For more information on the NFL Huddle and to see volunteer opportunities with the Dolphins, visit **https://www.miamidolphins.com/community/specialteams**.