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Redskins Host 55th Annual Welcome Home Luncheon

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The Washington Redskins on Wednesday hosted their 55th-annual Welcome Home Luncheon, benefitting the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation & Alumni Association.

The Washington Redskins on Wednesday got the opportunity to reflect on a successful 2015 while looking ahead to what’s in store for the 2016 season at the 55th annual Welcome Home Luncheon at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in McLean, Va.

The Welcome Home Luncheon is the largest fundraiser of the year and all of the proceeds support the efforts of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, which strives to make a positive and measurable impact in the lives of children in the Washington, D.C., area. The event highlights the work the team does both in the community and on the field. It is the only event where fans and corporate partners alike get to spend time with the organization, including players, the coaching staff, cheerleaders and the alumni.

A majority of the Redskins’ starting lineup was in attendance, joined by Pro Football Hall of Famers Darrell Green, Sonny Jurgensen, Bobby Mitchel, Charley Taylor and John Riggins.

Despite the fact more than half of the team was en route to Tampa to take on the Buccaneers in the preseason finale – a game that was moved up due to a tropical storm expected to batter Florida – the event was successful in highlighting the team’s overall body of work on and off the field.

“What I witness every day at Redskin Park is what I’m most proud of,” Redskins owner Dan Snyder said. “That is the effort to get better every single day – day after day. The grind they go through – you guys get to see and root for them on those Sundays and Monday nights. We get to see them every day, and the passion they have for this sport. A hand to them.”

The team’s five annual award winners were also introduced at the event, highlighting their on-field performances and contributions:

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Presenting Cousins his Bobby Mitchell Offensive Player Of The Year, Doug Williams has watched Kirk Cousins grow from a rookie backup having to wait behind fellow 2012 draft pick Robert Griffin III to entrenched as the Redskins’ starting quarterback.

Registering off all of his achievements during the 2015 season, Williams said Cousins patiently waited his opportunity to start, and once the door open he pounced on the job and didn’t let go.

“I think the signature game for Kirk last season was no doubt the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when we were down 24-0 and Kirk brought us back to win 31-30,” Williams said. “He had 317 [yards], four touchdowns. He had a franchise record of 43 completions.”

After accepting the award, Cousins served reminder that all of his accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without all of his teammates’ contributions.

“On every one of those passes, someone had to protect, someone had to catch the football,” Cousins said. “I need them more than they need me. They know it and I know it. Because of all the talent we have on offense, I’m able to stand up here and accept this award, but I just want to put the ball in their hands and let them do special things and that’s what I think they’re going to do. I’ll finish in honor of the great Jeff Bostic and leave you with one word: ‘HTTR.’”

‘Let’s go out there and shock the world’
From undrafted to the most recent winner of the Sam Huff Defensive Player of the Year, Chris Baker has come a long way during his NFL career.

Last season, Baker churned in his best performance yet, collecting 53 tackles and six sacks.

“I used to come to this luncheon, all the time London Fletcher would win every year,” Baker said with a smile. “So, I was like, ‘Maybe one year I will win the award.’ I just continue to work hard. I always knew I had the ability to be a great player as soon as I had the chance to show my ability.”

Baker said he kept staying in the coaching staff’s ears last year, hoping for the chance to crack and then remain in the starting lineup.

“They gave me a chance and I never looked back,” Baker said. “So, Hail to the Redskins!”

‘This award means a lot to me’

Selected as the Redskins’ 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year due to his community service and volunteer efforts as well as his excellence on the field, Ryan Kerrigan added 2015 Redskins Community Man of the Year to his list of achievements over the last five years.

Along with all of his work with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, Kerrigan also has his own foundation, “Blitz For The Better,” which provide opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need.

He’s also recently launched “Kerrigan’s Korner,” that provides gaming systems, movies and toys to kids at the in-patient surgery wing at Children’s National Health System. Since then, he’s added two more to local hospitals.

While Kerrigan accepted the award, he said his teammates, many of whom join him in charitable events around the region, also merit recognition.

“This award means a lot to me because a lot of my teammates are just as equally deserving as I am. Guys like Houston Bates, Tress Way,” Kerrigan said. “Guys that are out in the community every Tuesday and every Monday and on off-days trying to make the community a better place.” 

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