Jason Witten continues to make Elizabethton proud, not only by his excellence on the football field, but for his generosity and community leadership.
Witten is this year’s winner of the NFL’s most prestigious honor, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, an award which has brought national attention to Elizabethton and Witten’s family.
In a video shown nationwide on the Saturday night awards program, Witten paid tribute to his grandfather, Dave Rider, for teaching him not only about football, but about being a man.
The video also included clips of the Elizabethton stadium where Witten played high school football with his grandfather as coach. It also showed a couple of pictures of downtown Elizabethton.
The whole country through the video caught a glimpse of Witten’s hometown of Elizabethton.
Perhaps, now would be a good time for the community to show its pride for Witten and acknowledge it by placing a sign somewhere in town denoting that Elizabethton is the hometown of Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys tight end. Other towns do it, so why not Elizabethton?
It would be a great project for the local Chamber of Commerce or perhaps one of the civic clubs.
Witten has perhaps become Elizabethton’s best ambassador.
His summer youth football camp at Brown-Childress Stadium in Elizabethton draws youth not only from Elizabethton and Northeast Tennessee, but from surrounding states as well. Last year’s camp drew participants from Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky and elsewhere.
He’s a draw wherever he goes.
Yes, we’re proud of Witten, who has just garnered one of the most prestigious awards in the NFL, and who, earlier in the week, was presented the Bart Starr Award for outstanding character and leadership in the community, at home and on the field.
The awards aren’t just about Witten’s excellence on the field. It’s about his contributions off it.
His non-profit SCORE Foundation helps victims of domestic abuse with programs and services designed to break the cycle of violence.
In addition to his distinguished work in the battle against domestic violence, Witten has also built Jason Witten Learning Centers at Boys and Girls Clubs in Dallas, Elizabethton and Knoxville.
Jason and his wife, Michelle, a registered nurse, also funded the construction of a brand new Jason Witten-themed emergency waiting room at The Niswonger Children’s Hospital at Johnson City Medical Center.
We congratulate Witten on his latest achievements, but, as a community we need to let him know that we’re proud of the man and leader he has become.