JJ Watt announces charity softball game for after-school athletic programs
HOUSTON (CBS 58) -- Pewaukee native and University of Wisconsin alum JJ Watt is continuing his charitable efforts.
The JJ Watt Foundation Charity Classic and home-run derby will be played in Houston on Saturday, May 4, 2019.
He and his teammates will play softball to benefit middle school athletic programs around the country.
In 2017, the JJ Watt Foundation Charity Classic welcomed over 30,000 attendees and raised more than $1,600,000. To date, the foundation has donated over $4,500,000 to fund more than 400 schools in 35 states and Washington D.C.
“Last year was incredibly difficult for myself and my community, but it was truly inspiring to see how everyone came together to support one another,” said Watt. “I’m excited to bring back the Charity Classic this year and to see us come together once again to help athletes in middle schools across the country.”
After Hurricane Harvey devastated the Gulf Coast in 2017, Watt and the foundation focused efforts on helping those impacted in Houston and the surrounding communities. With help from people across the world, 16 countries to be exact, the foundation raised $41.6 million for relief efforts. In 2017 and 2018, the foundation focused on distributing the funds to seven non-profits that are currently helping to rebuild the community together.
In 2017, Watt was the recipient of the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, recognizing his philanthropic contributions. Watt’s efforts on the field have earned him NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, 2014 and 2015. There have been discussions this season of him receiving for the fourth time the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, along with NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2019. The Texans are currently 8-3, on an eight-game winning streak and atop the AFC South division.