Howie Long first to be honored in Hometown Hall of Famers™ program

Howie Long first to be honored in Hometown Hall of Famers™ program

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Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2000 enshrinee Howie Long returned home to Charlestown, Mass. on Wednesday, Sept. 7 where he was recognized as the first hometown plaque recipient in the Hometown Hall of Famers™  program.

The national program, presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance, officially launched on Wednesday with the special ceremony and plaque dedication for Long at the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club.

Howie Long and Josh Kraft pose for photo at the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club.
More than 100 community members were in attendance at the event including Long's friends and family along with staff and children from the Charlestown Club. Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston Nicholas President and CEO Josh Kraft, son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, presented the plaque to Long during the half hour ceremony.

George Veras, president and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises, and Mark LaNeve, Allstate executive vice president, marketing and sales operations, were also on hand to unveil the three-year Hometown Hall of Famers™ program and pay tribute to the eight-time Pro Bowl defensive end who starred for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders for 13 seasons.

"This program is about celebrating hometowns like Charlestown that helped pave the way for future Pro Football Hall of Famers to become the legendary football players we all know and love," said Veras.

Watch: The Hometown Hall of Famers program>>>
Long's plaque will be permanently displayed at the Charlestown Club to serve as inspiration for all its members. In addition, a commemorative road sign touting Charlestown as Long's hometown will also be displayed at the club.

"We are deeply honored that Howie selected our Charlestown Club as a place of personal importance in his hometown," Kraft commented. "Not all of our members can grow up to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer, but Howie's message to the young people we serve is clear – that by working hard, staying focused on your dreams, and seeking positive adult role models, you can overcome obstacles and reach your potential."

Hometown Hall of Famers™ was created with support from Allstate to honor the hometown roots of the pro football's greatest players in local communities. The program will honor 10 Hall of Famer members this fall, and as many as 50 in 2012.

"To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities like Charlestown is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees," said LaNeve.

Legendary New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath will be the next Hall of Famer recognized as part of the program during a special ceremony in Beaver Falls, Pa. LaNeve, who is also from Beaver Falls, will make the plaque presentation on Saturday, Sept. 10.

More from Profootballhof.com:

"Hometown Hall of Famers™ program>>>
Howie Long's Hall of Fame Bio>>>
YouTube Series: "White Gloves Video" features Howie's helmet>>>
Raiders history>>>
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