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Dec, 2023

Pop Warner Team Receives Honor for Positive Impact in the Fight Against Pediatric Cancer

Tigers honored with inaugural Pop Warner Community Star Award for fundraising around pediatric cancer research in support of teammate’s sister battling brain cancer


LANGHORNE, PA (December 7, 2023) – Pop Warner Little Scholars, the nation’s preeminent youth football and cheer organization, has honored the Winter Park Tigers 13U football team of central Flordia with the inaugural Pop Warner Community Star Award, which recognizes a team that has exemplified the organization's core values of community service and impact. 
This season, the Tigers demonstrated a remarkable display of community impact, compassion and solidarity by raising $12,500 for the Arnold Palmer Hospital Pediatric Oncology Department, where Grace Hanafin, one player’s younger sister, bravely underwent treatment for brain cancer. 
Inspired by Grace's unwavering spirit and strength, the Tigers, led by head coach Richard Hornsby, embarked on a mission to make a difference in Grace’s life and support the hospital’s lifesaving work. Their efforts included organizing a series of fundraising initiatives that supported the hospital's pediatric oncology department. The Tigers named Grace an honorary captain in one of their games, and recognized her and her medical team during halftime. The money raised will help Grace’s team and the hospital to continue their vital work in providing advanced treatment and care for children. 
“We’re very excited to introduce the Pop Warner Community Star award this year and celebrate all of the outstanding individuals and teams in our Pop Warner family who make a difference in their communities,” said Jon Butler, executive director of Pop Warner. “The Winter Park Tigers represent the spirit of Pop Warner, which is about more than just winning games – it’s about learning sportsmanship, building character and being part of something bigger than yourself. The Tigers’ dedication to Grace and their fundraising efforts have not only made a difference in her life but have also inspired countless others to take action and support those in need.” 
"Grace is an inspiration to us all, and we are honored to have played a small part in supporting her and the hospital that is providing her with care,” said Coach Richard Hornsby.  "Our team is incredibly proud of what we've accomplished.”
In its first year, the Pop Warner Community Star Award received many remarkable nominations, showcasing the impactful contributions of teams within Pop Warner. Read some of this year’s most inspiring stories here


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