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Panthers help clean up Harding University High campus

Team owner David Tepper and several Panthers players helped clean up the school's Charlotte campus.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and several key players were at Harding University High School in West Charlotte Tuesday to refresh the school's campus. 

Players led landscaping and painting projects in the quad with the goal of giving students an emotional uplift. Players also cleaned and beautified the rose courtyard, one of the main gathering spots for Harding students. 

This project is one of the first in-person community activities the Panthers have engaged in since the beginning of the pandemic

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“In September, the Harding family was devastated by the unexpected passing of their respected and popular principal Dr. Eric Ward,” Riley Fields, director of community relations for the Carolina Panthers, said. “In the midst of a difficult time, our team wanted to do something that would provide an emotional uplift for students and create a few touchpoints of joy during their daily school schedule. We’re thrilled that many of our players have chosen to participate in this effort and play a small part in contributing to something that all the students at Harding can enjoy.”

Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule said it was important to him that his players were willing to use their off day to give back to the community. 

"Our guys could give money that's easy, but to come out and give their time, to come out and be present -- hopefully speaks into the lives of these young people and this school," Rhule said.

Panthers owner Nicole Tepper said community engagement is a big part of the Panthers organization, so the limitations of the pandemic prevented players from giving back as much as they may have wanted to last year.

"It means a lot that this many guys showed up on their off day to come help out and give back to this high school," Panthers defensive end Brian Burns said.

RELATED: Celebration of Life held for Harding University High School principal

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