PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians hosted the seventh annual Arians Family Foundation golf classic Monday, but it’s his first time hosting it as a Super Bowl champion and his players were there for support.
Tom Brady jetted in from Miami for Sunday night’s gala at Innisbrook Golf Club and wide receiver Mike Evans flew in from Houston.
“I had to come,” Evans said. “B.A. preaches to be there for our teammates, support our causes. He always shows up for us, so we show up for him.”
“It’s an honor of mine,” receiver Chris Godwin added. “When B.A. reached out to us asking if we wanted to come I hopped on it because it's for a good cause. Guys coming out and showing support is really big.
Arians estimated they raised a quarter of a million dollars at Sunday’s gala, with even more money coming in from the golf tournament. It all benefits the foundation that seeks to prevent child abuse and neglect.
“Raising money is one thing, but raising awareness for the children is another thing,” Arians said. “That’s what it’s all about. We’re really excited about it.”
Arians and the Bucs are also excited about next season with that chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
“Everyone wants this feeling again,” Evans said. “To me, it doesn’t feel real. It feels good. I want to feel this again and everybody else does. That’s why you see guys coming back signing for less money. This doesn’t happen often.”
The Bucs have all 22 starters returning from last year’s championship team.
“We have to start again, get our fundamentals, get everything going,” Arians said. “There are no strangers in the locker room right now. Gio (Bernard) is the first guy to come from another team and we are excited about having him. Getting everyone back just showed the bond that team had. I say that team because this is a new team.”
The Arians Family Foundation has previously held 13 Celebrity Golf Classic tournament events over the past 8 years in Phoenix, Arizona, and Lake Oconee, Georgia, and has raised more than $2 million collectively for the Arians Family Foundation which has benefited CASA programs in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana and Pennsylvania.