Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has been fighting in the trenches on the defensive front each and every week since he arrived in Baltimore nine years ago.
Fresh off the bye week, Ngata turned his attention to something far more important than the game of football.
On Monday evening, Haloti and his wife Christina, along with the dedicated men and women of the Haloti Ngata Foundation, took center stage to give back in their third annual charity luau in effort to support educators in the greater-Baltimore area on Monday evening.
While the platform may have been given by the Haloti Ngata Foundation, the night belonged to a special group of teachers and organizations who unselfishly battle hard every day in their own way – just like the five-time Pro Bowler.
For those such efforts, the foundation donated a total of $39,000 to three local organizations and nine different area school teachers including $10,000 each to the Maryland School for the Blind, C.O.P.S of Carroll County and the GreenMount School of Maryland.
“It’s a luau to gather people together and raise some money to help the community,” Ngata said when asked about his reason for the event. “I want to share my culture with people and raise money at the same time. It’s to share what I have been blessed with. Family is number one to me but giving back is up there too as well.
“Giving back with a lot of love – which is on the logo, the word ‘Ofa which means love and that’s also my mother’s name. We use that as one of our mottos, our mission to give back with a lot of love. To appreciate everything that I’ve been given and give back, to do what me and my wife can.”
Those in attendance enjoyed a beautifully put together Polynesian experience. From the classic food to the dancers to the fire juggling guests were awed. The highlight of the evening came when Ngata joined the dancers and showed just how athletic he truly is.
“I can’t believe how he can do that,” Shirley Hawkins of Baltimore responded when asked about Haloti dancing. “I mean to be that big and that agile, no wonder he’s such an awesome football player.”
While the Ravens are fortunate to have the the 6-4 Ngata wreaking havoc on opposing offensive lineman on game days, the community of Baltimore and its surrounding areas are just as lucky to have a big man with a big heart giving back.