April 7, 2006
Florida State University ties run deep. That’s just one reason why FSU alumnus and former quarterback Gary Pajcic wanted to contribute to the Warrick Dunn Foundation. Although separated by a couple of decades, both Pajcic and Warrick Dunn were star football players who later made it a priority to give back to their communities.
On Saturday, April 8, the two former players will meet on Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium during the annual Garnet and Gold Game to help others in need. Pajcic, on behalf of FSU and his law firm Pajcic and Pajcic, will present Dunn with $100,000 for the Warrick Dunn Foundation. The presentation is scheduled for a break in the spring scrimmage, which begins at 2 p.m.
“Gary Pajcic and Warrick Dunn exemplify the outstanding qualities of our alumni,” said FSU President T.K. Wetherell. “We are proud of each of them and their accomplishments, and we are grateful for their contributions to their communities and continued support of FSU.”
Pajcic, a Jacksonville native who earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from FSU, was quarterback and a three-year letterman in the late 1960s and now is a member of the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame. He began his expansive trial career as assistant state attorney before founding Pajcic and Pajcic in 1974 with his brother, Steve.
“I always knew that Warrick Dunn was a great football player and an outstanding representative of Florida State University,” Pajcic said. “I also know what a great humanitarian he is. This gift is a token of both my own and Florida State’s appreciation for his life’s work on the field and, more importantly, off the field.”
Dunn, a running back with the Atlanta Falcons, established the Warrick Dunn Foundation in 2002 in an effort to expand the “Homes for the Holidays” program that he started after being drafted to the National Football League by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1997. “Homes for the Holidays” assists single mothers in owning their first home by providing the down payment on a house and then filling the house with everything a first-time homeowner would need, from linens to a lawnmower.
The program is a way to honor Dunn’s own mother, a single mother of six children and a police officer, who was killed in the line of duty. Although she worked hard all of her life, she was never able to buy her own home.
“It is really an honor to be in a position to help others achieve a dream I had as long as I can remember,” Dunn said. “Having a home was my mother’s dream, too. Using my FSU education, we have been able to reach further than I could have ever imagined. I am thankful to Mr. Pajcic for his confidence in our foundation and for this significant gift. `Homes for the Holidays’ is making a tangible difference in the lives of 57 moms and 145 children who now own a piece of the American Dream for themselves.”