NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota and Saint Thomas Health partnered together visiting four rural middle Tennessee high schools to donate a total of $40,000 in Sparta, McMinnville, Smithville and Woodbury. Saint Thomas Health is part of Ascension, the nation's largest Catholic and non-profit health system.
McMinnville Mayor, Jimmy Haley, proclaimed Tuesday, July 25, 2017 "Marcus Mariota Day" across the city of McMinnville.
"This is the first time we've partnered with Marcus on a high school tour as part of our ongoing relationship," said Andy Wachtel, CEO of Saint Thomas Highlands Hospital in Sparta, Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital in Smithville and Saint Thomas Stones River Hospital in Woodbury. "We appreciate very much Marcus' focus on the importance of physical activity, healthy eating and making healthy life choices. These are values that are very important both to him and to Saint Thomas Health."
Mariota spoke to students and families, sharing his story about staying in school, working hard and inspiring them to persevere and "show up" to achieve success in high school and in life which is part his personal mission to use his platform as a professional athlete to create change. Driven by this mission, he established the Motiv8 Foundation to promote and support a healthy mind and body among youth in Hawaii, Oregon and Tennessee.
The Motiv8 Foundation aims to create and support economic and educational programs and athletic activities to provide an alternative outlet for youth of troubled neighborhoods and backgrounds.
The Motiv8 Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars towards healthy lifestyle programming, and will continue to fulfill its mission through signature programs, strategic partnerships, and fundraising initiatives.
"It's a lot of fun," said Mariota. "I just enjoy the opportunity to hopefully share a bit of advice."
Mariota personally gifted each school with a $5,000 donation to their high school football program, which was matched by an additional $5,000 to each school from the National Football League.
We love working with Marcus, and this will be a great opportunity for youth and adults in these communities," said Dale Humphrey, CEO of Saint Thomas River Park Hospital in McMinnville. "We are especially glad to help Marcus carry the message of his Motiv8 Foundation to the middle Tennessee region." Mariota established the Motiv8 Foundation during his rookie year in 2015 to promote and support a healthy mind and body among youth in Hawaii, Oregon and Tennesse
ABOUT SAINT THOMAS HEALTH
In Tennessee, Ascension's Saint Thomas Health operates nine hospitals in addition to a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities that cover a 68-county area and employ more than 8,000 associates. Across the state, Saint Thomas Health provided more than $78 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2016. Serving Tennessee for 15 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.sthealth.com.