Mariota expanding role as philanthropist with Motiv8 Foundation

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Most people know Marcus Mariota as Hawaii's Heisman Trophy winner or the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans.

But there's another role the former Crusader has been focusing on — that of a philanthropist.

On Monday, Mariota and his Motiv8 Foundation expanded in that direction once again, announcing a new award and new partnerships that will allow the quarterback to contribute even more to his hometown.

Surrounded by friends, supporters and Hawaii football royalty, Mariota hit the course at Oahu Country Club for the Second Annual Motiv8 Foundation Golf Tournament.

There was plenty to celebrate for the former Crusader: Since last year's inaugural event, Mariota's Motiv8 Foundation has raised more than $200,000, thanks in part to their new partners at Zippy's, Dutch Brothers Coffee and First Hawaiian Bank.

It's money Mariota says he's putting right back into the community.

"Last year, we had an opportunity to buy about thousand tickets or so for kids to be able to attend a University of Hawaii football game," said Mariota. "That's something we'll be continuing on. We've also started to kind of help with the homeless. We're looking to start serving meals and handing out toiletries in May."

But the giving doesn't stop there. Mariota also established the Ardel Deppe Award, named in honor of his late grandfather. The award will be granted annually to a football coach in the community who exemplifies what it means to sacrifice for their program.

"Some of the best life lessons that I've learned throughout my life have been from coaches," Mariota said. "So to be able to recognize those people, to be able to give them kudos for what they've done, is the least we can do. And on top of that to be able to help the schools out, I think is also very important."

This year's winner is Damien head coach Eddie Klaneski, who's credited with turning the Monarchs into a perennial power on the D-II level.

"There's so many great coaches out there in Hawaii that are doing great things in the community," said Klaneski. "I'm so humbled and blessed to continue to help our kids at Damien and the kids in our community."

The Ardel Deppe award comes with a $5,000 equipment credit from Riddell that will go back to the school that each winning coach represents.

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