Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Bucs

Bucs receiver Mike Evans determined to make lasting off-field impact

In it’s first year of existence, the Mike Evans Family Foundation has helped send low-income students to college.
Bucs receiver Mike Evans signs a Texas A&M jersey during his charity bowling event in Tampa on Monday night. Proceeds go to the Mike Evans Family Foundation, which provides college scholarships to low-income students. [EDUARDO ENCINA  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Bucs receiver Mike Evans signs a Texas A&M jersey during his charity bowling event in Tampa on Monday night. Proceeds go to the Mike Evans Family Foundation, which provides college scholarships to low-income students. [EDUARDO ENCINA | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Dec. 10, 2019
Updated Dec. 10, 2019

TAMPA — Mike Evans didn’t bowl in his own charity event Monday evening due to his right hamstring injury. He walked around the AMF University Lanes with a slight limp, one that was almost unnoticeable because he couldn’t take more than a few steps before a photograph or autograph seeker stopped him.

It didn't stop Evans from granting every selfie, signing every jersey and giving out hugs to those who came out to his "Catch For Christmas" charity event to benefit the foundation he created with his wife Ashli just a year ago to provide college scholarships to low-income students.

"Tonight we're going to send a lot of kids to college and help out a lot of kids," Evans said. "We're trying to help them become successful. ... We love to give back. We do random acts of kindness all the time, but we wanted to leave a legacy for our whole family and just help people for a long long time, just spread positivity and get kids educated that deserve an education."

In June, the foundation donated $25,000 to USF to start a scholarship fund for local students in need of financial assistance, and the organization made a similar contribution at Evans' alma mater Texas A&M earlier in the year.

Though the foundation is in its infancy, Evans said he's already seen its impact.

"It's awesome," Evans said. "I get letters from are appreciative of even smaller scholarships that I've given in the past. The ones I give bigger scholarships too, they always write me and are in contact with me and my wife about helping them and they progress, how much they've progressed in college. It's pretty awesome."

On Tuesday morning, Evans and his wife will host 13 kids at the Bucs complex, giving them breakfast, a tour of the facility and presents from their holiday wish lists.

"We have 13 kids who come from low-income families who are making really good grades, that are really good students and they love to give back at well," Evans said. "So we're going to give them everything they want off their Christmas list and it's an awesome time. ... Seeing the smiles on their faced means a lot."

Several of Evans' Bucs teammates attended the event to show their support, including quarterback Jameis Winston, who wore a brace on his right hand to stabilize his injured thumb. Winston still participated, bowling left-handed.

Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, Breshad Perriman, Justin Watson, Scotty Miller and Ryan Griffin were among the players who attended the event.

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, with his right hand in a brace to stabilize his thumb, signs autographs at Mike Evans' charity bowling event on Monday night. [EDUARDO ENCINA | Tampa Bay Times]

Evans said growing up, he never thought he would be able to make such an impact in the community. But he said he’s just beginning his philanthropic work.

"You always dream of being a famous athlete," But you never think about the impact you can leave on the younger generation, having a foundation and giving back and things like that. I'm extremely blessed with this platform. I'm just going to keep it going. I'm going to help as long as I can and I'm going to try to be the best player I can be for as long as I can in Tampa."

Through the marketing firm that held Evans event, he said he did not wish to comment on his injury.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. In this Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, file photo, then-Patriots receiver Antonio Brown roams the sideline during the first half against the Dolphins in Miami Gardens. Law enforcement authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Brown, who along with his trainer has been accused of attacking a man near Brown's South Florida home in Hollywood. [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
    The troubled NFL wide receiver is accused, along with his trainer, of attacking a man in South Florida.
  2. NFC linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hands Sean Silverthorn, of Largo, Fla., two tickets to the Super Bowl after a practice for the NFL Pro Bowl football game Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    At this time last year, he was a player without a team. Now, having earned his place among the game’s greats, the Buccaneers outside linebacker is making dreams come true for him, his family and a...
  3. In this Feb. 7, 2012 file photo New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the team's NFL football Super Bowl parade in New York. Manning, who led the Giants to two Super Bowls in a 16-year career that saw him set almost every team passing record, has retired. The Giants said Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 that Manning would formally announce his retirement on Friday. [JULIO CORTEZ  |  AP]
    The two-time Super Bowl MVP is calling it quits after 16 seasons, all with the same team.
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, center, talks with kids while playing games during the fourth annual Dream Forever Foundation Football Camp held last June in Tampa. [SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Winston, who played at Florida State, is from Alabama, where the private historically black liberal arts college is located.
  5. In this Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) on the sidelines,during the first half at an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami Gardens. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
    The wide receiver’s trainer was arrested following accusations that he and Brown attacked another man near Brown’s home, authorities said.
  6. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) calls a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. [CHARLIE RIEDEL  |  AP]
    A report from the NFL Network says there’s increasing chatter about Rivers and the Bucs at the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala.
  7. Former Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis, left, started a Twitter beef with San Francisco's Richard Sherman, right, on Sunday. [TIMES FILES, ASSOCIATED  PRESS]
    The former Pro Bowl cornerback throws shade at the 49ers star for not shadowing top receivers.
  8. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, center, is interviewed by Terry Bradshaw after the NFL NFC Championship football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. The 49ers won 37-20 to advance to Super Bowl 54 against the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) [MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP]
    San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch joins an impressive list of former Bucs players, coaches and executives to reach the Super Bowl in recent years.
  9. San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, who finishes with 220 yards rushing and four TDs, breaks away from the Green Bay Packers during the first half of their NFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. [TONY AVELAR  |  AP]
    Little-known Raheem Mostert, a former skateboarder-turned-surfer-turned-football player out of New Smyrna Beach High, has a historic game, rushing for 220 yards and four touchdowns.
  10. Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill catches a touchdown pass in front of Tennessee Titans defensive back Logan Ryan during the first half of the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. [CHARLIE RIEDEL  |  AP]
    KC falls behind once again, this time 10-0, before rallying in the AFC Championship Game.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement