Bodden Bowling

NFL's Leigh Bodden (second from right) awarded scholarships to lucky area students. Photo/CD Brown.

Last night several lucky students got a surprise from NFL's Leigh Bodden and the Leigh Bodden Foundation.

Five students were awarded $1,000 scholarships to help them with college expenses this fall.

"I just want to help the kids, and put a smile on their face", said Bodden.

Smiles where definitely the order of the evening.

Mariah Perry of Surrattsville high school intends on using her scholarship award to study Kinesiology and Sports Management at the University of Maryland.

The students were selected for the scholarships based on essays they wrote.

Her mom Mary Perry, smiling, said the award "surprised" her.

Bruce Carrington, a basketball player, plans to study education. His essay on how he remained focused and exhibited leadership qualities on and off the court, helped garner him his award.

Carrington said he was still able to play sports even with an injury he sustained on the season.

The students were treated to a night of bowling at the Lucky Strike bowling establishment in the heart of Washington D.C.'s Chinatown district.

Other NFL players came out to support the Bodden effort, including team mate Kyle Arrington, Cleveland Brown's Josh Cribbs, Arizona Cardinal Calais Campbell, Buffalo's George Wilson, New York Jets' newly acquired 2011 Draft lineman Muhammand Wilkerson. Washington Redskin Shawn Springs also supported the cause.

This is the first year the Bodden Foundaton has awarded scholarships. Bodden says he plans to expand to serve students in DC and Virginia.

"I'm just getting my feet wet", said Bodden.

See photos.