Jon Chelena aka JC Nasty
When the Buccaneers came to Tampa Bay in 1976 as an NFL expansion team, young Jon Chelena became an instant fan. After all, he had been born and was being raised in Tampa, he loved the sport, and it made perfect sense that he would throw his support behind his hometown team. Little did he know then what being a Bucs fan would come to mean to him through the years.
Jon attended home games with his family and friends, but one friend in particular, Keith, kicked it up a notch in 1989, and began a super-fan persona known as Big Nasty. He “painted-up” his face, donned a Bucs jersey and other gear, and began pumping up the spectators. A few months later, Jon and his brother, Steve, joined the fun becoming JC Nasty and Nasty Steve. Collectively, the three are known as the Nasty Krewe.
Jon explained, “I started JC Nasty as a crazy guy who would go to the games, cheer, and get other fans fired up on the 3rd down and defense, but along the way something happened. I realized that adults, and especially kids, liked JC Nasty, and that I could use that crazy guy as a platform for some really great things in life!” And that is exactly what he did.
JC Nasty, and his cohorts, have made numerous appearances at local hospitals, fundraising events, churches and schools over the years, with good-will to encourage the sick, raise money for charitable organizations, and enlighten children about the negative effects of doing drugs and bullying others, as well as the positive effects of being responsible by studying hard, finishing school, and being respectful of parents and teachers.
One thing that means a great deal to Jon (and his alter ego JC Nasty) is his partnership with Orange Grove Dental in New Port Richey. Through this partnership, every student athlete in Pasco County is eligible to receive a free team-colored mouth guard. Pasco County student athletes need only visit Orange Grove Dental on Rowan Rd, to receive their very own!
Jon rarely misses an opportunity to give back to his community. He and his wife of 13 years, Sheryl, regularly donate toys and money to the annual “Toys for Tots” campaigns, as well as many non-profit organizations. They have co-chaired a BASH Party and a golf tournament for the last five years, to raise money for scholarships to be awarded to deserving students who otherwise could not attend Palm Harbor Montessori Academy, where their eleven year-old son Chase, goes to school. The money raised has been applied to purchase playground equipment, technology and classroom supplies. “To date we have raised in excess of $80,000,” Jon reported.
Voted Tampa Tribune’s #1 Bucs Fan in 2000, elected to the Pro Football Ultimate Fan Association in 2014, and a member of the PFUFA Hall of Fame, Jon aka JC Nasty has only missed a handful of Bucs games since 1976.
Jon admitted, “I plan to do this the rest of my life. I know my calling is to motivate people and encourage them to be the best that they can be. There is nothing better than putting that smile on a kid’s face as he or she looks up to you. It’s an honor and a huge responsibility that I don’t take lightly.”
Jon is the General Manager at Family Fitness Centers in New Port Richey. He, Sheryl and Chase make their home in Trinity. Their daughter Rachel (25) is a marketing analyst for the Dukal Corporation.
By Debra Taylor Tee | www.ItsYourHomeMagazine.com