The St. Louis Rams Community Player of the Week presented by Ameren Missouri is wide receiver
Since being drafted by the Rams in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Pettis has made steady progress on the field. The team eased him into the passing game last year, but he soon established a strong presence on offense, hauling in at least one pass in his each of his final eight games. This year, Pettis has resumed his role as a reliable receiver. Against Green Bay, the former Boise State star caught his first NFL touchdown, a three yard pass from quarterback
As Pettis’ presence on the field has grown so has his involvement with the community. He established the Austin Pettis Foundation, an organization that seeks to broaden the life experiences of inner-city, underprivileged and disadvantaged youth by raising money for them to attend various sports camps. At these camps, the kids receive positive guidance and leadership that the organization hopes will put its beneficiaries on the right track to a bright future.
On Saturday, October 20, the Austin Pettis Foundation hosted a Halloween Hangout Event at Dave and Buster’s for 50 first through sixth graders. The kids, who arrived in costume, enjoyed an afternoon of lunch and arcade games provided by the organization. But Pettis and his teammates in attendance did not sit on the sidelines. The Rams players mixed it up with the kids and also signed autographs and posed for pictures as well. To top it all off, Pettis judged a costume contest in which prizes were awarded to some of the best-dressed guests.
Working with kids is nothing new to Pettis. Earlier in the year, he visited the St. Louis Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) to interact with the children served by the organization. He signed autographs and posed for photos with students and their families. The goal of his visit was to promote the LDA and its programs and spread the organization’s message of helping children with learning disabilities by providing them with the education and support necessary to be successful.
During the offseason Pettis took part in the Rams ReciPEs program at the South City Family YMCA. Here, he worked with youth to create a nutritious snack – trail mix, to be exact – and taught them the importance of making healthy choices. Rams ReciPEs is part of PLAY 60, the NFL’s initiative to encourage kids to be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Through Rams ReciPEs, players and members of the Rams organization give kids tips on how to eat healthy and be physically fit.
With the holiday season fast approaching, Pettis is also doing his part to ensure every family will be able to enjoy the festivities with loved ones. Pettis will head one of the Rams’ Urban League Turkey Distributions, a community effort in which the team helps give away Thanksgiving meals, complete with a turkey, to hundreds of needy households.
While most of his charitable efforts take place off the field, Pettis does his part to draw fans to the Edward Jones Dome. He is a member of the Rams’ All-Community Team and donates 20 tickets to various amateur sports groups for each home game during the season. Each week, a group of kids get to experience the fun and excitement of a Rams game courtesy of Pettis.
When he started the Austin Pettis Foundation, the Rams’ wide receiver sought to provide positive role models for youth in need. Through his efforts on and off the field, Pettis is now becoming a leader in his own right.
“Austin is one of the youngest leaders on the team for our community efforts,” said Molly Higgins, vice president, corporate communications and civic affairs. “He has come in to his sophomore season and proven that he is not only committed to being an impactful member of our football team, but also an impactful member of the St. Louis community. We look forward to Austin continuing his work with youth both through his foundation and as a member of the St. Louis Rams.”
About the Rams Community Player of the Week presented by Ameren Missouri
Each week during the 2012 season, the St. Louis Rams, along with team sponsor Ameren Missouri, will select a player who has made a positive impact on the Greater St. Louis community, giving of himself off the field. Each honored Rams Community Player of the Week will receive a gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the Official Steak House of the St. Louis Rams.
Tell us how you power positive change in the community for the chance to win Rams tickets and official merchandise, by going to www.Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.