Dunbar Leads by Example

Posted Sep 30, 2014

Read about how Jo-Lonn Dunbar's charitable efforts earned him Rams Community Player of the Week.

Odds are, not many NFL linebackers would be willing to sing an N’Sync song on video and in front of fans. Even fewer could recruit a fellow linebacker to do it with them. But that is exactly what Jo-Lonn Dunbar did to support SSM’s Kick Cancer initiative with Ram-oke.
Not only did he do promotional work including the N’Sync video, the entire Ram-oke event was actually his idea. Dunbar had heard about the Heat’s karaoke event while he was spending time in Miami. He decided to bring the microphone to the Rams and approached the Rams community outreach team with the concept. If you saw any of the videos from that night, clearly he knew his team had more than enough personality to pull it off.
“Nicole Woodie, our community outreach and player involvement manager, brought the idea to me after Jo-Lonn approached her about it,” said Molly Higgins, Rams vice president of corporate communications and civic affairs. “It was out of the box, and I love those ideas. Whenever we can be creative in ways to help charities, I’m all about it.”
Dunbar is the type of player who can galvanize his teammates, both on the field and in the community.  That ability was vital to a first time event like Ram-oke to ensure player participation. Anytime a community event falls under the category of a player-driven initiative, that player takes on the lead role of recruiter to get their teammates involved. Much of that responsibility for Ram-oke fell on the shoulders of Dunbar and his co-host Johnny Hekker. Together, they were able to get more than a dozen guys to not just attend, but be enthusiastic participants.
“I think his passion for the event was infectious and got everyone excited,” said Higgins. “At the end of the day, Ram-oke doesn’t happen with out Jo-Lonn.”
“I just like doing things for people, no matter what it is,” said Dunbar. “I like being that person that someone can count on and know I can handle a situation.”
“Everyone who came in contact with him said what a gentleman and good guy he was,” said Higgins. “SSM was blown away by how approachable our guys were and how gracious they were with the fans. The fan interaction was tremendous.”
Maybe Dunbar has a future in a recruiting or scouting department.
Dunbar’s leadership efforts with Ram-oke, as well as his recent participation in the Make-A-Wish Night of Wishes event, have won him this week’s community player of the week award.
About the Rams Community Player of the Week: Each week during the 2014 season, the St. Louis Rams will select a player who has made a positive impact on the Greater St. Louis community, giving of himself off the field. Each honored Rams Community Player of the Week will receive a gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the Official Steak House of the St. Louis Rams.