The Washington Football Team hosted the 59th Annual Welcome Home Luncheon on Wednesday, benefiting the Washington Football Charitable Foundation and celebrating the start of the 2020 season, which kicks off at home against Philadelphia on Sept. 13.
With considerations to the health and safety of the Washington Metropolitan community, Washington hosted the first-ever virtual Welcome Home Luncheon that allowed fans, corporate partners and staff to attend this event from the comfort and safety of their homes.
A silent auction, presented by Paisano's, was held throughout the event that offered various items and Washington Football experience packages. All proceeds from the event and silent auction directly supported programs of the Washington Football Charitable Foundation, which will continue its efforts around COVID-19 relief and social justice initiatives.
The Luncheon was hosted by Senior Vice President of Media and Content, Julie Donaldson, and former Washington wide receiver, Santana Moss. Team President Jason Wright, multiple Washington Football players and alumni, as well as two-time NBA Champion Kevin Durant were also in attendance.
The luncheon began with a VIP reception presented by Trustar Bank and hosted by former Washington cheerleader GeNienne Samuels and former Washington great Brian Mitchell. The reception included an interview with Washington running back Bryce Love and was followed by an audience Q&A with Samuels and Mitchell.
Guests then had the opportunity to join the live stream for the start of the program, which included opening remarks from Donaldson and Moss followed by messages from Wright and Shaza Anderson, founder of Trustar Bank and a Washington Football Charitable Foundation Leadership Council member.
Former tight end Rick "Doc" Walker then joined in on the fun to present the 2019 player awards. It was at this time that long snapper Nick Sundberg was honored for his nomination as Washington's Community Man of the Year for his service and commitment to the Loads of Love program. Nick and his wife Flor have been, alongside the Foundation, installing washers and dryers in schools and youth serving non-profits, decreasing the barrier to clean clothes, and improving the lives of over 12,000 youth and their families across the DMV
Other players who received honors include defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, who won the Washington Salute Award. Tress Way was named the Mark Moseley Special Teams Player of the Year, Matt Ioannidis received the Sam Huff Defensive Player of the Year award, and Terry McLaurin was named the Bobby Mitchell Offensive Player of the Year.
Donaldson and Moss wrapped up the luncheon by talking with Prince George's County native Kevin Durant, who grew up as a Washington Football fan. During this conversation, the two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player announced that his foundation, the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, will be teaming up with the Washington Football Charitable Foundation to continue to develop and impact the lives of the kids through the Durant Center in Prince George's County.
With the season just a few days away, Durant ended the conversation with his excitement for this 2020 team. He's looking forward to seeing how the young players develop and where they will be able to take this team.
"I'll be wearing my burgundy and gold proud this season," Durant said.