Nirvana athlete affiliate and investor, Johnny Townsend, has been as active off the football field as he has been on it throughout his career. His largest undertaking, the Johnny Townsend Foundation, has been making an impact since 2017.
Started by Townsend (the all-time leading punter in SEC and University of Florida history, two-time first team All-American, and 5th round NFL Draft pick), the mission of the foundation is to spread hope to the pediatric patients at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. 100% of every dollar raised goes directly to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.
Townsend is originally from Orlando and spent four years in Gainesville punting for the Florida Gators. It was during this time that he got involved with a service program at the University of Florida, visiting the Children’s Hospital. He continued to develop relationships at the hospital and wanted to find more ways to get involved and make an impact. That’s when he came up with the idea for his foundation.
The Johnny Townsend Foundation raises money for facility renovations. They have completed two renovations to date, and are currently working on their third. They also perform a number of initiatives to enhance the well-being of the patients at the hospital. They make hospital visits, drop off gifts, and more. As Townsend puts it, “anything that will put smiles on their faces and improve their well-being.”
Townsend wanted to use the platform he was given by the University of Florida to give back in a meaningful way.
The foundation’s programming includes several events throughout the year. Last week, they held their largest annual event, the Spring Game Tailgate, at the University of Florida. They had a barbecue with live music and entertainment on the day of the University of Florida Football’s annual Spring Game. Over 450 people attended the event, highlighted by over 100 former Gator football players and 10 active NFL players. Townsend says the event was “a huge success.”
On the warm spring day in Gainesville, rest assured, all attendees were very well hydrated. Nirvana Super was handed out to all 450 plus in attendance.
“I was originally drawn to Nirvana because of how revolutionary the products are,” says Townsend about his passion for working with Nirvana. “It has been a big part of my recovery and development as a professional athlete. It’s fun to be a part of it all.”
The Johnny Townsend Foundation is continuing to grow and work towards their mission. “It’s all about positive mental health, well-being, and healing,” says Townsend. “It is so fulfilling to work with these patients that were born into circumstances out of their control, to help them stay positive and optimistic. We will continue to do whatever we can to help them heal.”
To get involved, become a sponsor, or to donate to the foundation, visit johnnytownsendfoundation.com.