Most everyone knows of Washington Redskins star wide receiver Santana Moss for his football talents, having grown up locally in South Florida and played football at the University of Miami.
But what very few know is that 13 years ago he established the Santana Moss Foundation, a group that helps give back to local communities in South Florida.
So what did that have to do with the Town of Medley when a Special Meeting was called this past Monday night?
The main purpose of the meeting was to pass resolutions surrounding the 87th Avenue Right-of-Way project, but also present at the meeting was Lily Stefano, the executive director of the Moss Foundation.
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She was there to answer any questions the council had surrounding a new agreement the town council would ultimately unanimously pass between the Foundation and the town in which Medley will now be able to work with the Santana Moss Foundation and have that foundation serve almost in a capacity as an agent for the town in making applications for social services benefits.
Moss is a true local product having grown up and gone to high school in Carol City where he helped lead the Chiefs to the 1996 state championship before walking on at the University of Miami. He was awarded a scholarship after just his third game and went on to break the Hurricanes’ record (previously held by Michael Irvin) for most career receiving yards (2,546).
He was a first-round draft pick of the New York Jets in the 2001 draft before landing in 2005 with the Redskins, for whom he still plays.
“What this is is a direct agreement in which the Moss Foundation agrees to work, cooperate and file applications with the town for funding sources as well as not only funding but in some instances actually acquiring consumable goods,” said Medley Town Attorney Stephen Helfman. “The agreement is terminable by either party, meaning that neither is absolutely bound to each other. If for whatever reason the Moss Foundation finds that this is not in their best interest or if for some reason they feel in any way this is jeopardizing their mission or their rules and regulations, they can terminate or the town can terminate as well, provided there is 30 days notice.
“This new deal will now allow the Moss Foundation to serve as a conduit or vehicle through which the town can make applications for certain grants in particular and subsidies that would not normally be available to the municipality if we were to apply in our own name.
“If you work through a qualified not-for-profit foundation such as the Moss Foundation, which will be totally disclosed, then we are hopeful that that money can be channeled back through programs that benefit the residents of Medley,” said Helfman.
Moss doesn’t just put his name on it and turn it over to other people, either. He is actively involved in all of the projects during the offseason and indeed will make an appearance in the Town of Medley next February when the Moss Foundation holds a specific community fair event, possibly at Medley Town Hall.
“We were approached by the town, which asked if we could kind of serve as the bridge to apply for grants and of course we said yes because that’s what we do,” said Stefano, who said the foundation has worked with numerous communities locally, including Miami Gardens, the City of Miami, Opa-locka and Liberty City. “Our foundation serves the purpose of giving back to the different communities in South Florida and we’ve been doing it for 13 years and are very proud of what’s been accomplished.”
Stefano said the foundation takes a lot of pride in reaching out to different people who can provide resources for the community.
“Sometimes members of the community don’t know where they can go to get certain information or whatever the case may be that they may need, so we bring everybody together,” said Stefano. “We introduce everybody and provide all the resources that allows them to get what they need. There are so many different grants that everybody can go after. You just have to know how to go after them and get them and that’s what we know how to do. We’re really excited and looking forward to working with the Town of Medley on something so worthwhile.”