Continuing to build on their ever-growing presence in the Las Vegas community, the Oakland Raiders players once again descended on a school in the valley to do good.
Gene Ward Elementary School became the epicenter of Raider Nation in Las Vegas Wednesday morning as Raiders players Lee Smith, Bruce Irvin, Rodney Hudson, Shilique Calhoun, and Karl Joseph, all visited kids to judge a third grade zone art contest.
The Raiders visited the school for two reasons: first, to announce they had partnered with the ECO City Gallery at Discovery Children’s Museum for a Kids Construction Zone exhibit, and to honor teachers during the Clark County School District Teacher Appreciation Week.
Third graders participated in a shovel drawing contest and the Raiders players on hand went class room to class room praising children for their drawings and answering all their questions.
That included one child who asked: “Is Derek Carr here?”
Being around the group of excited kids brought a smile and a sense of pride to tight end Lee Smith who said he loves visiting kids in the community.
“I have been to a lot of schools throughout my career, and I have four kids myself,” Irvin said. “So Kiddos have my heart, but I don’t know that I have ever seen a group of kids as excited as I saw these kids today.”
As much as some of said Las Vegas isn’t excited for the arrival of the Raiders just yet, you wouldn’t have been able to tell that visiting Ward Elementary. The school was filled with wall-to-wall kids covered in Raiders stickers, wearing Raiders hats and T-shirts and overjoyed with smiles from ear to ear.
When the Raiders received approval to relocate to Las Vegas, and to receiver $750 Million in public funding for a new stadium, the team’s brass said they were committed to being an active participant in the community, even before their arrival in 2020. So far, they’ve kept to their word on that – particularly being active in Clark County Schools.
Later on Wednesday, the Raiders Foundation will be hosting its big Celebrity Swing fundraiser for Veteran’s Village at TopGolf Las Vegas. Despite record heat, the event is expected to be a big draw.