Bucs Jameis Winston hosts Christmas dinner for at-risk Tampa students

Buccaneers

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – He’s the quarterback who loves to give back. For Jameis Winston, this moment is the play he enjoys calling most – paying it forward to at-risk students.

“To be able to spend personal time with these their families, it means more than the world to me. I’m all about family, and this is what I love to do,” said Winston.

The quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, indeed, scored big on Tuesday night while playing the role of Santa, with his sleigh sliding into the end zone during his annual ‘Famous Jameis Jamboree.’

It was one heck of a party where 15 students from four Bay Area schools received a special invitation to have dinner, along with their parents and teachers, at Eddie V’s in Tampa, including presents from the star player himself.

“This is amazing, like a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said student Mia Nunez, beaming as she opened a backpack full of gifts, including a Nintendo Switch, Beats headphones, a $50 gift card, a Bucs t-shirt and an autographed football from Winston.

Amidst the excitement of gift-giving, perhaps one of the biggest smiles came from 10-year-old, Emmanuel Rosero, who grinned from ear to ear, grateful for the presents and for what came next – the gift of time on the gridiron at Raymond James Stadium.

“It was amazing, the most amazing experience in my life,” Emmanuel told us, smiling. “I’m famous, like Jameis.”

Emmanuel’s principal from Alexander Elementary had tears in her eyes as she expressed her gratitude, telling the quarterback how much this means to her, her students and their families.

“That’s something that they see on television, not something they have at home, even their parents were shocked and so surprised, like amazed,” said principal Kristina Alvarez.

While the dinner at Eddie V’s was private for those 15 students, the Christmas party that followed at Raymond James Stadium was open to the public, packed with families and children excited to see the quarterback up close and personal.

They took pictures, got autographs, got hugs and enjoyed meeting the star athlete. As for the quarterback, he says giving back was the best gift ever.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Big bust

Thumbnail for the video titled "Big bust"

Puppies train to be superheroes at Southeastern Guide Dogs

Thumbnail for the video titled "Puppies train to be superheroes at Southeastern Guide Dogs"

Tampa Bay man runs Gasparilla race in memory of his late wife

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa Bay man runs Gasparilla race in memory of his late wife"

Cyber Safety Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Cyber Safety Day"

Coast Guard remembers deadly Blackthorn crash 40 years later

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coast Guard remembers deadly Blackthorn crash 40 years later"

Hundreds expected at Polk Co. School Board meeting

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hundreds expected at Polk Co. School Board meeting"

Tampa police need help identifying suspect in machete attack

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa police need help identifying suspect in machete attack"

Tuesday Midday Weather Update

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tuesday Midday Weather Update"

Murder trial underway for Florida woman killed on vacation

Thumbnail for the video titled "Murder trial underway for Florida woman killed on vacation"

12-year-old child among 5 injured in head-on collision in Pasco Co.

Thumbnail for the video titled "12-year-old child among 5 injured in head-on collision in Pasco Co."

Search underway for mother missing for over a week

Thumbnail for the video titled "Search underway for mother missing for over a week"

Rep. Bell says she "articulated wrong" when she called for a school board member to be removed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Rep. Bell says she "articulated wrong" when she called for a school board member to be removed"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss