MIAMI TOUCHDOWN CLUB
HISTORY OF THE MIAMI TOUCHDOWN CLUB
The Miami Touchdown Club was founded in 1959 by a group of local community leaders with a strong interest in supporting all aspects of football in Dade County, Florida. Long-established relationships exist with our local public and private
high schools, the University of Miami, the Miami Dolphins and Florida International University.
Club events include:
One of the primary functions of the Club is to assist local high school coaches in promoting their athletes to colleges in their efforts and securing scholarships, thus allowing these student athletes to continue their education while playing football at the next level. This program, Operation Scholarship, has evolved from a printed statistical book, mailed to over 300 college coaches, to the current, secure, interactive internet platform, now available to over 1200 colleges at all levels. This platform
also enables college coaches to search for that "special" player.
In 1961, The Miami Touchdown Club Foundation, Inc. added to its purpose “Operation Scholarship.” Operation Scholarship is a football scouting guide, which is compiled by Club members and lists High School Student-athletes pictures, and statistics on a website. Hundreds of college coaches throughout the nation rely on this information to recruit Miami-Dade and Monroe County high school football players to their program.
In 2005, a 501 (c) (3) Charitable Foundation was formed: The South Florida Touchdown Club Foundation, Inc. d/b/a/ The Miami Touchdown Club. Membership was opened to all individuals and corporations interested in supporting and promoting football in South Florida. As a charitable foundation, the Foundation is able to solicit tax-deductible donations, sponsorships and endowments, allowing it to make donations to worthy South Florida charities. In 2011, The South Florida Touchdown Club became a chapter of the National Football Foundation.
EFFORTS OF THE SOUTH FLORIDA TOUCHDOWN CLUB FOUNDATION, INC.
WHO IS THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION?
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc. (NFF) is a member-supported, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the future of amateur football at the local, state and national levels. Since its beginnings in 1947, the Foundation has relied upon the support of volunteers to bring its mission and goals to communities all across the nation.
Today, thanks to the more than 100,000 volunteers who generously became members over the past 59 years, the National Football Foundation has grown to 120
chapters with a presence in 47 states.
There is no prerequisite football experience required to become a member; in fact, many of our members never even played organized football. Our membership base includes nearly every profession, race, religion and creed.
Our members are men and women, fans, parents, players, coaches, referees and
administrators. They work as educators, business people, doctors, lawyers,
sales people, laborers, policeman, firefighters, politicians, engineers, etc.
Our members have served our country's highest office, walked on the moon, led
our soldiers into battle, won the Heisman Trophy, ruled on the U.S. Supreme
Court, coached in Super Bowls and National Championship games, built financial
empires, made movies, saved lives and imparted wisdom. Our members share one
common bond: their love for amateur football.
Today, our current membership base tops 12,000 - and we are growing. As membership increases, so does the overall strength of the Foundation. Your support helps widen our span of influence, allowing the Foundation to expand its positive effects on the game, our communities and our young people. The mission of the Foundation and our members, simply stated, is to ensure and promote the future of amateur football. If you are not already a member, or if you have been a member in the past, we hope you will join in our effort to see this mission through.
HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION
The Foundation has a rich history with many of our nation's leaders having lent their name and personal fortunes to building its legacy, and the organization's future appears bright. Archie Manning, a true humanitarian and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame from Ole Miss, serves as the current chairman, and Steven J. Hatchell, the former commissioner of the Big 12 and Southwest conferences and executive director of the FedEx Orange Bowl, serves as the current president & CEO.
Twenty-Seven corporate CEOs currently participate as members of the board or in an emeritus capacity. Ten athletics directors serve alongside two conference commissioners, and the executive directors of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Ten members of the College Football Hall of Earner hold positions on the board as well as a filmmaker, a national broadcaster, and the former Texas Secretary of State.
In the official book of the National Football Foundation, a 564-page tome published in 1972, Hall of Fame Coach Bud Wilkinson wrote about the high value placed on the game and its ability to keep us young, vibrant and "steamed up." He also noted the Foundation's role in highlighting the sports contributions to our free society and its ability to produce a cross-section of the captains of industry, business, finance, statesmanship, judiciary and education. "On each Saturday of each fall, we find caravans of millions of college alumni journeying back to their alma maters to watch their favorite teams play There they renew old acquaintances and friendships. There they thrill from the nostalgia of their earlier years as they watch the colorful marching bands, the majorettes, and the cheerleaders urging on their teams. There the bonds are renewed with their colleges, and there have an inspiring demonstration of a
vibrant free society at play. To me, there is no sport that has the color, the pageantry and excitement of college football."
Each year the organization's leaders gather at the Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria to extol the sentiments that Wilkinson articulated. This year marks a celebration of the organization's 63rd Anniversary.
The first Annual Awards Dinner took place at the Hotel Astor on October 28, 1958 with 2,000 people packing the grand ballroom. George Murphy, ex-MGM star and former Yale football player, flew from California to be Master of Ceremonies. The Yale Whiffenpoofs sang. Admiral Torn Hamilton, director of Athletics at Pittsburgh, inducted nine new Hall of Famers, and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a West Point football player of '15, took a break as the 1958 election campaign ended to accept the NFF's Gold Medal.
"Wherever human liberty is respected, competition is the animator of progress. In football, in business, in politics, in the trades, professions and the arts, the normal urge to excel provides one of the most hopeful assurances that our kind of society will continue to advance and prosper," said President Eisenhower. "Morale – the will to win, the fighting heart – are the honored hallmarks of the football coach and player, as they are of the enterprising executive, the successful troop leader, the
established artist and the dedicated teacher and scientist."
In setting the standard in Gold Medal speeches, Eisenhower attracted many of the nation's business elite to the event, including the heads of Firestone Tire, General Dynamics, Coca-Cola, Pan-American Airways and the publisher of the Los Angeles Times. The following year, the event moved to its current home for the past 53 years, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and General Douglas MacArthur accepted the NFF's Gold Medal with 1,500 people in attendance at the $50 a plate dinner on Dec. 1, 1959.
"Football has become a symbol of our countries best qualities — courage, stamina, and coordinated efficiency Many even believe in these cynical days of doubt and indecision that through this sport we can best keep alive the spirit of reality and enterprise which has made us great," said MacArthur in touching on the same viewpoint expressed by Eisenhower and Wilkinson "In all my own long public service, both in war and peace, it is the football men that I found my greatest reliance."
Now in the seventh decade of the National Football Foundation's history, the importance of the Annual Awards Dinner remains a centerpiece in the organization's effort to highlight the value of the game while providing a historic venue for more great speeches, which will inspire young men for generations to come.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION
Our mission is to promote and develop the power of amateur football in developing the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal and the drive for academic excellence in America's young people. We will fulfill this mission in the
•By inspiring young people to excellence: holding up the greatest players and coaches in the history of the game as role models and enshrining them and their achievements in the College Football Hall of Fame.
•By exciting young people, and those who influence them, about the game: in particular, managing the College Football Hall of Fame in such a way as to dramatize the history, exhilaration and value of the game to an ever broadening audience of fans and potential fans.
•By developing, managing and promoting model football programs, which further strengthen the educational and character building qualities of the game.
•By honoring, publicizing and providing financial support to high school and college football players who represent our ideal of the scholar-athlete.
•By continuing a grassroots movement, through local chapters, while involving football fans, coaches, educators, the media and former players in the implementation of the programs, which will fulfill our mission for America Through this mission, The Foundation serves not only youth, but the nation as well Touchdown Club & National Football Foundation.