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Carolina Panthers

Panthers celebrate annual Keep Pounding Day of giving around the region

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The Panthers spent Friday giving back to communities across the Carolinas, celebrating their fifth annual Keep Pounding Day, a day of service across the entire organization.

Current players and coaches, Panthers legends, and staff members took part in five projects centered around Charlotte, as well as Fort Bragg and Camden, S.C. Various projects were focused on housing, food security, juvenile justice, military outreach, and seniors' outreach.

"I used to volunteer at nursing homes back in New Jersey and it's my most favorite thing in the world to do. … So to be here today and to see the staff here interacting and being with the residents is amazing," Nicole Tepper said.

In Charlotte, the Panthers started their day serving a pancake brunch to senior citizens at the Merrywood on Park Assisted Living Center. US Foods donated all ingredients for the pancake breakfast.

Guard Austin Corbett, a member of the pancake squad who helped prepare the pancake brunch, said he received "good compliments" from residents on the meal.

Other activities at the Merrywood on Park Assisted Living Center included building raised garden planters for the seniors to enjoy accessible gardening.

Another group of Panthers spent time in East Charlotte working at the Aldersgate Urban Farm. Players and staff helped prepare the farm for the summer growing season with various site work, including harvesting, planting, and mulching, in partnership with the Carolina Farm Trust. Team president Kristi Coleman joined players, coaches, and staff members at the event.

"It brings relevance – the Panthers coming out to do anything, obviously brings attention," said Zack Wyatt, the president/founder/CEO of Carolina Farm Trust. "We're very thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Tepper, Kristi Coleman, Riley Fields, the entire front office, the coaches, the players (for) spending a day with us."

The Panthers' third event in Charlotte involved a home in the city's Hidden Valley neighborhood. Players and staff helped provide home repairs and build an accessible ramp.

Over at Fort Bragg, another group of Carolina players, coaches, and staff hosted a Play 60 day for soldiers from the 82nd Airborne, Fort Bragg Garrison, and children of military service members from Bowley Elementary, a school located on the military base.

The event started with a catered outdoor luncheon for 100 military service members. Students also participated in Play 60 field-day-style events led by players and staff at Hedrick Stadium. The event was held in partnership with USO of North Carolina.

"Our goal today for these kids was to create a day of joy and something they will always remember," said Marquis Haynes Sr., who participated in the Play 60 field day events. "Spending time with the 82nd Airborne was great for me. The way they work together and the pride they have in what they do is impressive."

Military service members enjoyed taking photos with players in attendance, and students left the field for buses back to school with high-fives and smiles.

The Panthers Play 60 program encourages children to get 60 minutes of physical activity each day and develop healthy, active lifestyles.

The Panthers also crossed state lines, traveling to Kershaw County, S.C., for engagement with the Jackson Teen Center. Players and staff engaged with high-risk teens as part of a wider South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice program. Players and staff helped teens put together personal vision boards and participate in a community service project, also playing games and doing activities with the teens.

"This is my first time experiencing (Keep Pounding Day), but I'm really enjoying it," wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. said. "I'm glad that I was able to come out here to Kershaw County and meet great people here. It feels good to be back in the south, so I'm really enjoying this and taking it all in."

The Panthers have coordinated community outreach efforts through Keep Pounding Day for five years and look forward to continuing to serve the community throughout the year.

View photos of the Carolina Panthers 5th Annual Keep Pounding Day! Panthers staff served Charlotte, Fort Bragg and Kershaw County (S.C.) through beautification, social responsibility, food insecurity, and youth health and wellness initiatives.

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