Gronkowski learned that a fire broke out on May 16 at Blake High School in Tampa. The fire destroyed an atheltic storage she and nearly all of the schools football equipment – worth approximately $11,000. This was a devastating loss for the program and young athletes involved.
That was until Gronkowski and the Buccaneers foundation decided to reach out to the school in an effort to help.
“To the Blake High School Yellow Jackets, you’re getting a brand-new storage unit and new football equipment to replace everything that was lost,” Gronkowki said in a video posted on Twitter.
Not only will Blake High School be getting a replacement for the 10-by-20 foot shed that was lost in the fire, but all of the necessary football equipment as well. The total cost was split by the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation and Bucs Foundation.
“This fire was devastating to our student-athletes after an already tumultuous past few months,” Blake High Principal Jesse Salters said in a statement. “This donation from the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation is a generous gesture from our brand-new Buccaneer, and neighbor, Rob Gronkowski. Thank you to Gronk and the Bucs for this donation, which will allow Blake High to replace all its football equipment and help our athletes get back on the field.”
The school district had initially planned to replace the equipment, but the donation will allow funds to be allocate elsewhere. This is a huge relief for year with expected budget cuts due to COVID-19.
“This generous donation will help our student-athletes return to the field with confidence after the fire destroyed their practice and game-day equipment,” Lanness Robinson, director of athletics for Hillsborough County Public Schools, said in a statement. “We are incredibly thankful for community partners like Rob Gronkowski and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is more than just a donation; it shows our children their local sports community is there for them no matter what.”
A juvenile has confessed to starting the fire and was arrested. Due to age, their name has not been released. However, they have been charged with two counts of second-degree arson and one count of burglary, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.