NFL Pro-Bowl MVP, Starting Defensive End
Born in Louisiana and raised in Texas, Michael grew up in a lower income area and witnessed family and friends struggle with obesity and staying healthy. When he entered the NFL, rigorous performance training taught him the importance of eating nutritiously and how vital it is not only to maintaining fitness, but overall well-being. The year after he established his first free football camp, Michael attended a round table meeting in Hawaii’s capital. The camp had shown him that there was a need for nutrition education in Hawaii, and he wanted to figure out what could be done. Some people talked about five-year plans, but Michael couldn’t wait that long. Promising to implement something sooner, he quickly organized three cooking demonstrations, a football camp, and the very first OCEAN Health Fest in three months with the help of The Bennett Foundation team. Eventually, Michael and Pele established The Bennett Foundation with their three daughters, Peyton, Blake, and Ollie, adopting O.C.E.A.N.’s programming to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity. The Bennett Foundation educates underserved children and communities through free, accessible programming in Hawaii, Washington, and Texas. The Foundation’s O.C.E.A.N. Health Fest impacts thousands of people each year by offering free health screenings, fitness activities, cooking demonstrations, and much more. Currently, The Bennett Foundation is fostering partnerships with The Hope Heart Institute, Seattle Tilth, and Washington Green Schools, the Interagency Academy, STEAM programming with iamtheCODE, and developing the Bennett Bite Cooking Show in partnership with Safeway. Through these ongoing efforts, The Bennett Foundation empowers parents, and provides children with tools to lead healthier lives.