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Old 12-23-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
DanGarion
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The Thread We Talk About Professional Athletes That Do Good Things.

We always point out the bad things on this board that players do, but with the holidays here and everyone in the giving mood I thought it would be good to start a thread here where we can point out the good things that professional athletes do for the community and beyond. I'll start with this article I found about Braylon Edwards.

Braylon Edwards gives $10,000 each to 79 college students - latimes.com

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Braylon Edwards gives $10,000 each to 79 college students
December 23, 2011 | 8:45 am



Now this is a story worthy of the holidays. As a Cleveland Browns rookie in 2005, Braylon Edwards announced he'd give $10,000 in scholarships to 100 area eighth-graders if they could graduate high school with at least a 2.5 grade-point average and 15 hours' community service.

Six years later, 79 met the criteria and have begun their first year of college in campuses all across the country, including Harvard.

"Without this scholarship, I probably wouldn't be here," Bowling Green freshman David Gholston told ESPN's Rick Reilly.

Now, most people would think writing $790,000 in checks would be enough, but Edwards went one step further. In addition to the $10,000, he provided each of the students with a laptop computer.

"I'm supposed to give people a chance like I was given a chance," Edwards said.

But that's not the only amazing part of the season. Edwards is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers. His salary for this season? $1 million. In other words, he has donated almost his entire salary this season to help those 79 kids.

It's easy to focus on all the negative stories that come out of the sports world, so it's nice to report on something as wonderful as this.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:12 PM   #2
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Dude - seriously? Kudos to Braylon Edwards.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:20 PM   #3
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It certainly makes up for stealing 30ish million from the Browns.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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I love the idea of this thread. Hopefully, everyone can keep it positive.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:51 AM   #5
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Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh brings Christmas cheer to neglected and abused youths - Israel Gutierrez - MiamiHerald.com

Chris Bosh making Christmas special for some of Miami's abused and neglected kids.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:20 AM   #6
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And Braylon Edwards just got cut from the 49ers.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:26 AM   #7
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This is the 4th year of the Penguins Learn to play program.

Sidney Crosby buys head to toe equipment for kids. Year 1 was 500, Year 2 was 700 and last year 1,000 kids.

My son participated last year as a 4 year old and loved it.

Little Penguins Learn to Play Hockey Program - Pittsburgh Penguins - Community
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:30 AM   #8
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Great idea for a thread. With all of the negative press that college and professional athletes get, it'll be good to see some of the positive things they do.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:46 AM   #9
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Meant to post this earlier about the two La Tech players, Adrien Cole and Quinton Patton who donated their bowl gifts to Make-A-Wish. College kids love these bowl gifts and this gesture is extremely impressive to me since the odds are so small that either of these players will ever make money in professional sports. Very classy move by these young men!

‘Tis the season: Two Louisiana Tech players donate bowl gifts to charity - Dr. Saturday - NCAAF*Blog - Yahoo! Sports
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:29 PM   #10
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NASCAR - Trevor Bayne not afraid to show religious side - ESPN

Trevor Bayne works with Back-2-Back ministries helping orphans in Mexico. This is the same organization which my church teams up with and we'll be sending 200 people down there in 2012. The article does quickly shift talking about his faith and comparing him to Tebow. It does point out other drivers who are giving back as well.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:29 PM   #11
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Pretty cool way to support the arts.

Donnie baseball does ballet.

Don Mattingly Hits Homerun With Evansville Ballet Performance | NBC Los Angeles

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Don Mattingly traded his Dodger blue for a powder-white wig and an oversized hoop skirt during the weekend to perform in his hometown ballet's production of "Nutcracker."

In the name of helping children express themselves artistically, the Dodgers manager -- no stranger to a big stage, but usually one covered in turf and dirt -- returned to Evansville, Ind. to play the role of "Mother Ginger." An Evansville news station captured video of Mattingly as the larger-than-life character, who opens her skirt to unveil dancing children, one of whom is wearing a Dodgers uniform in the Evansville production.

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Old 02-06-2012, 08:20 PM   #12
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JT Thomas is an amazing person.

Chicago Bears linebacker J.T. Thomas gives the life-changing gift of a Super Bowl - ESPN

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By Jemele Hill
ESPN.com

He was a sixth-round pick who hadn't played a down all season, so it didn't surprise Chicago Bears linebacker J.T. Thomas that most of the kids who attended the team's annual holiday party for children weren't that interested in his autograph.
But one was: 14-year-old Anthony Grandberry from the South Side of Chicago.

Grandberry swore he knew who Thomas was. And even though the rookie from West Virginia was skeptical, he gladly gave Anthony an autograph.
"Honestly, he made me feel like a Pro Bowler," Thomas says, smiling.

A small gesture can make a lasting impression. Thomas was feeling sorry for himself when he met Anthony in December. His first season in the NFL hadn't been at all what he'd hoped. He was put on Chicago's injured reserve list before the season because of lingering hamstring and back issues. It was tough for him to accept that he was a nonfactor for the Bears.

So it mattered that Anthony, who has had severe epilepsy since he was 7 years old, made Thomas feel special that Dec. 13 afternoon at the party at Soldier Field. The player made a vow that he would someday return the favor.

A returned favor might be some free Bears swag for the kid, and Thomas did that on Christmas.

As it turned out, though, Thomas was thinking on a much bigger scale.

On Saturday, the night before Super Bowl XLVI, Thomas walked into Anthony's church on the South Side with two tickets in his hand.
"Hey Anthony, you want to go to the Super Bowl with me?" Thomas asked.
The kid, who just moments before had been singing so loud that his voice cracked each time the choir reached the chorus, suddenly fell silent.

This isn't the first time Thomas has done something extraordinary for a child.

He garnered national attention in May when he took Joslyn Levell, an eighth-grader with spina bifida, to her junior prom because none of the boys at her school had asked her.
Thomas was instantly hailed a hero. But his generosity didn't just change one life.

It changed two.

Thomas always has been a giver. His younger brother, Jared, is autistic. Thomas used to give him baths and do all the things with him that a great big brother does.

He learned from Jared that children with special needs value being treated like they're normal above all else. He saw how much it meant to Jared when the two spent time together. His heart expanded when he saw the beaming smile on Joslyn's face as she introduced Thomas to the boys who'd found other dates for the dance.

The experience with Joslyn made Thomas think about how he could use his platform as an NFL player to do something meaningful. Could a Bears rookie who had yet to play in a pro game change the lives of kids on a regular basis?

Thomas was inspired enough to try. He recently started the J.T. Thomas Foundation, whose primary mission is to raise awareness for children suffering from disabilities.

And he made the first order of business doing something special for Anthony.

Last week, Thomas set his ambitious plan in action. He drove 1,300 miles from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Chicago with a group of volunteers who call themselves the "Ready Ready" crew. Along the way, they visited epilepsy centers in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando to raise awareness about a condition that affects more than 300,000 children under the age of 15.

As Thomas has learned, having epilepsy can be a lonely existence for the children coping with it. For parents of epileptic children, finding normalcy and support is draining.

Anthony's mother, Tonya Harris, can't keep a regular job because Anthony requires full-time care. Two brain surgeries were supposed to decrease his seizures substantially, but he still suffers through two or three a week.

"It's stressful not being able to provide like I want to," Harris says.

Dressed in a shirt and tie, Thomas arrived at Revealing Missionary Baptist Church, where Anthony has been a member for a year, early Saturday afternoon. When Anthony saw him, he didn't look at Thomas like he hung the moon. He looked at him like he invented it.

When I asked Anthony, who also received a $1,000 scholarship to attend a summer camp from Thomas, what he planned to do at the Super Bowl, he looked at me as teenagers do when they want you to know how tragically dense you are.

"Have fun!" he shouted.

Duh.

On Sunday, as Thomas picked Anthony up for the game, the kid was wearing a Bears skull cap. It was the only way he could begin an adventure like this.

As Thomas discovered over the next three hours on the drive to Indianapolis, Anthony's singing abilities extend far beyond gospel.

"Any song that comes on the radio, he sings it," Thomas says, laughing. "He doesn't want anyone singing but him. He was pretty much the captain of the radio. It was fun to see him open up."

When Anthony saw Lucas Oil Stadium, the site of the Super Bowl, his mouth fell open just as it did a day earlier, when Thomas handed him the tickets.

Anthony is still learning about football, so Thomas had to explain some of the action. Anthony took lots of pictures, and, naturally, sang all the way back to Chicago.

If the first football game you ever attend is the Super Bowl, wouldn't you sing too?

Thomas' grand plan is to do something like this every year, but in a bigger way. He put up the money to fund this trip, but the hope is that as his foundation grows, so will the outside support.

For now, Thomas is satisfied. He met his goal. And at this point, what he's done for Anthony and Joslyn should get him into the Good Guy Hall Of Fame.

"Me and his relationship has grown for this trip," Thomas says. "My main thing was to make him feel the way I felt, and I believe I accomplished that."

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Old 02-06-2012, 08:24 PM   #13
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This guy is amazing. Wow. Bless him.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:42 PM   #14
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Great story, gave me chills.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:51 PM   #15
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Great story, gave me chills.


I teared up.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:20 PM   #16
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me too.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:52 AM   #17
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Damn it.. there is a Bear player I have to like now? *sigh*
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:31 AM   #18
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Tim Tebow.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:18 AM   #19
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I teared up.

Me too. Great story.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:47 PM   #20
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Thank you so much for sharing this story. This is what I created this thread for!
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:15 PM   #21
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Jason Hanson visits children's hospital.

Incompatible Browser | Facebook
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:40 PM   #22
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Kiesel and his Shear the Beard fundraiser...last year raised 40K, this year figures to top that.

Big props to former BYU Cougar for this...

Steelers' Brett Keisel Shaves Off NFL's Best Beard | ThePostGame
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:11 PM   #23
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Don't want to derail this thread, especially this guy, because I thought this was a great story, but

Bears LB JT Thomas faces drug charge in W.Va. - NFL - SI.com
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:18 PM   #24
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Don't want to derail this thread, especially this guy, because I thought this was a great story, but

Bears LB JT Thomas faces drug charge in W.Va. - NFL - SI.com

Eh, smoking weed is hardly a character flaw. If so, you'd half to arrest most of the Bay Area (where I live), where weed is far far more acceptable than smoking cigarettes.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:19 PM   #25
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Kiesel and his Shear the Beard fundraiser...last year raised 40K, this year figures to top that.

Big props to former BYU Cougar for this...

Steelers' Brett Keisel Shaves Off NFL's Best Beard | ThePostGame

The pictures here are great - all 260+

Shear the Beard 2012 - 102.5 WDVE

Dan Rooney, Mike Tomlin, John Mitchell (DL coach), Heath Miller, Doug Legursky, Chris Hoke, and James Harrison all help. Not sure I'd want Harrison near my throat with scissors, but to each their own.

Also, Keisel's dad has his bear sheared as well.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:28 PM   #26
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The pictures here are great - all 260+

Shear the Beard 2012 - 102.5 WDVE

Dan Rooney, Mike Tomlin, John Mitchell (DL coach), Heath Miller, Doug Legursky, Chris Hoke, and James Harrison all help. Not sure I'd want Harrison near my throat with scissors, but to each their own.

Also, Keisel's dad has his bear sheared as well.

Awesome! Yeah, Kiesel has become one of my favorite former BYU Cougars, probably second, Steve Young is #1
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:42 PM   #27
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A symbolic gesture but still very cool of Tampa Bay and Sciano. Eric LeGrand has been such an inspiration to so many and it is great to see this

Buccaneers sign paralyzed Rutgers player Eric LeGrand – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

Buccaneers sign paralyzed Rutgers player Eric LeGrand


[Updated at 1:14 p.m. ET] Eric LeGrand's football coach at Rutgers helped him emotionally in the months after his on-field paralysis. Now the coach is symbolically helping him realize his dream of making it to the NFL.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now coached by ex-Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, announced Wednesday they've signed the former defensive tackle who was partially paralyzed in a 2010 game to their 90-man off-season roster.

Schiano, who joined the Buccaneers this year after more than a decade with Rutgers, offered the symbolic deal to his former player by phone on Tuesday, LeGrand told reporters in a conference call.

"I said, 'Are you serious? You want to use this on me?'" LeGrand said. "(Schiano) said, 'It's the least we can do.'"

"Honestly, it's amazing. It really is," he said.

LeGrand collided with an Army kick returner while making a tackle on October 16, 2010, injuring his spinal cord and leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. At the hospital, medical personnel told him he he'd be a quadriplegic and would need a respirator for the rest of his life.

But LeGrand progressed, breathing on his own after five weeks. He operates a wheelchair, and he's been able to stand upright with the help of a metal frame. With medical bills paid with donations to two foundations, including Rutgers' Eric LeGrand Believe Fund, he says his ultimate goal is to walk again. He told Sports Illustrated in November that he wanted to return to the spot on the field where he was injured, lie down, and get up and walk away.

He returned to the Rutgers field in his wheelchair twice: on October 29, leading his team onto the gridiron; and on November 19 for Senior Day festivities before the Scarlet Knights' win against Cincinnati.

LeGrand, who intends to graduate from Rutgers in the fall and hopes to pursue a career in football broadcasting, said Wednesday the signing is only honorary and no money is involved. The team is sending him a jersey with his No. 52 – expected to arrive at his New Jersey apartment this week – and he already has posted to Facebook a picture of him with a Buccaneers helmet.

Schiano said that heading into last week's NFL draft, he "couldn't help but think that this should've been Eric's draft class."

"This small gesture is the least we could do to recognize his character, spirit, and perseverance. The way Eric lives his life epitomizes what we are looking for in Buccaneer Men," Schiano said in a Buccaneers news release Wednesday.

LeGrand had hopes of making it to the NFL as a player. He had 60 tackles – 11 for a loss – 2.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries in 31 games before his injury as a junior.

He's not sure whether the Buccaneers will have any non-playing role in mind for him. He says he appreciates the gesture from Schiano, who he says has been "like a father to me." The coach had talked to him almost weekly, and also keeps in touch with his family, LeGrand said.

"(Schiano had taught me that) when you're faced with adversity, to not back down. ... He helped me and my whole situation," LeGrand said.

And now, symbolically at least, he's following his coach to the pros.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:45 PM   #28
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And one more, kudos to Justin Verlander

Dream Come True: Local Girl Catches Verlander's Attention as Biggest Fan - Bloomfield-Bloomfield Hills, MI Patch

Dream Come True: Local Girl Catches Verlander's Attention as Biggest Fan

During a battle with cystic fibrosis and after losing her mom last year, 11-year-old Shayna Hersh and her class wrote letters to her hero and ended up on a surprise journey she couldn't imagine.

Eleven-year-old Shayna Hersh might give Justin Verlander a run for his money.

The Burton Elementary School fifth-grader from Berkley is the self-proclaimed biggest Detroit Tigers fan ever, goes by “Verlander” at school and is the only girl who plays baseball in the Berkley Dad’s Club baseball league.

In fact, Shayna got a black eye and bloody nose during her first practice this year and it didn’t slow her down at all, she said.

But this little baseball fan isn’t competing with the Detroit Tigers pitcher (though she dreams of being the first female pitcher in Major League Baseball) — she looks up to him.

That’s why when he gave her the surprise of a lifetime last weekend, she was stunned. This week, Shayna and her Burton classmates – her partners in getting Verlander's attention _ were still reveling in Shayna's dream-come-true.

"When he tapped me on the shoulder I thought it was my dad so I ignored him," Shayna said Tuesday, laughing, about meeting Verlander in the MLB Fan Cave in New York City on Saturday.

"I was really excited. All of the sudden I thought I was going to vomit. I got butterflies in my stomach!"

The making of a special fan

When Verlander was allowed to select one fan for a meeting at the Fan Cave for the Yankees game, he selected Shayna, according to her father, Joel Hersh.

Verlander, of Bloomfield Township, flew Shayna and her dad to Manhattan, put them in the Hilton for the weekend (where the Tigers stayed), invited them to the game at Yankee Stadium on Friday evening, spent an afternoon with Shayna at the Fan Cave and sent her away with a goody bag full of baseball memorabilia.

“Justin picked up all expenses,” Hersh explained. “The only request they had of me was to keep the trip secret — the most painful part!” (More later about the top-secret mission to get Shayna unknowingly to Yankee Stadium).

Hersh said he can testify to his daughter truly being the biggest Verlander fan around.

“Shayna’s bedroom is a shrine to Justin Verlander. She has news clipping of Justin on the wall, a stuffed Justin doll (which the Tigers weren’t aware existed), baseballs with autographs from various players, and the plethora of books she’s read on baseball,” he said.

And, she’s one remarkable, no-frills kind of girl.

“She’s a sweet girl, great student and a tough kid who’s been through a lot of tough life experiences,” her dad said.

With her smiling face and giggles talking about how much she loves baseball, you might not know how much adversity Shayna has faced – and overcome. Not only does she suffer from cystic fibrosis, but she just lost her 37-year-old mother in August.

It’s oftentimes that baseball is her relief now.

“Her mother went into the hospital the day after school let out for the summer and subsequently died a week before school started again in September,” Hersh explained. “Shayna and her siblings Mimi (one year younger) and Ari (two years younger than Shayna) spent the entire summer at Beaumont Hospital by their mother’s side while and watching Tiger baseball as a distraction from their reality.”

Verlander said on Monday that it was the first time he had the opportunity to reach out to a fan in that way, and it was an experience he’ll never be able to forget either.

"Here I am in a position where some people look up to me and to be able to kind of use that status and help lighten somebody's life, be an inspiration or whatever it may be, I don't try to think of those things. I just try to lead by example, be a good person and hopefully people feed off that,” he said.

“But to be able to go and see a girl like her and physically meet her and see the reaction it has on her, it means a lot. And that's really the first time I've done something like that. It was really, really cool."

After flying to New York and being able to watch Verlander pitch in person, Shayna didn’t think the experience could get any better. “I was really excited, that was the first time I saw him pitch in real life. I only saw it on TV before that,” she said.

That was until Verlander sneaked up behind her while she was doing an interview about her tour of the MLB Fan Cave, tapped her on the shoulder and invited her in for a big hug when she finally realized it was really him.

She was speechless and Verlander said her reaction was one of the most rewarding parts. "Her reaction, I didn't know what I was going to get. It was kind of like she was in shock. It was great,” he explained.

“I had a blast doing it because of her, really. The Fan Cave is neat and all but that wasn't why I was going. Spend some time with her. It was fun."

Shayna and Verlander hung out and even played some Skeeball on Saturday. In fact, that went down as one of Shayna’s best memories, because who wouldn’t love bragging rights from beating Justin Verlander in Skeeball, right?

“That was my favorite part, beating him,” Shayna recalled, giggling.

Catching a hero's attention

When it comes to Shayna’s homerun of a lifetime, it all started with good old-fashioned letter writing – lots and lots of letters to Verlander, his agent and anyone Shayna and her friends at school could think of.

“She'd been sending letters for awhile, but all of her classmates sent a letter, (too),” Verlander explained on Monday.

“Just kind of grabs your attention. You get 20-some letters from a class full of fifth-graders, it's pretty special. So I decided to surprise her and it worked out well.”

The campaign grew out of an assignment for Shayna and her classmates to write a letter to their hero. Shayna wrote hers to Verlander, of course, and when her peers found out, they decided to help her out.

Shayna's teacher, Helen Klassen, said her students are so caring about Shayna and what she’s gone through that they all came together to get Verlander’s attention so he’d consider meeting his biggest fan.

“They are young, but already have that community spirit,” Klassen said, adding that they never used her sickness or loss of her mother as a reason in the letters. “It was purely (her) passion as a fan.”

Since it was, after all, Shayna’s fifth-grade class that bolstered the letter-writing campaign to Verlander, it’s a story her classmates love to tell.

“It started because Shayna really wanted to meet Justin Verlander,” explained Jake Primak, who is in Shayna’s class.

“She’s really good at baseball, so Jason started calling her ‘Verlander,’” Gabe Berke chimed in.

“We even called Justin Verlander’s manager on my cell phone!” he added with a laugh. “She really deserves it.”

Jason Bormann, the one who began calling Shayna “Verlander,” explained that Shayna isn’t just the biggest fan he knows, but one amazing baseball player, too. Bormann explained that she knows his stats, about his family, what his houses are like and all kinds of things about him.

"I always tell her, when – not if – you become a professional pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, I'll be your bodyguard," he said with a big smile.

Klassen said the students’ excitement for Shayna – even though they can only watch her experience on TV and hear her share memories – shows how close-knit they are, especially because most of them have been in school together since kindergarten.

“It’s like a big family,” she said. “They really wanted to help her dreams come true. That was important to them.”

That’s why Klassen decided to use their experience as a class lesson, which students were eager to talk about once the weekend was over and they had seen Shayna all over the news.

(Shayna says her story went as far as Ghana on an international news station).

As part of a social studies lesson, Klassen’s fifth-grade class learned through the real-life civic duties presentation they had just helped to create. They were able to learn how their voices made a difference and what kind of impact they could have for someone else, Klassen explained.

An added bonus of the lesson was the one of friendship and support from her peers.

“She was certainly our star this weekend,” she said.

One tough secret

Certainly one of the most crucial and tricky parts of the entire experience was keeping it a secret from Shayna every step of the way, her dad explained.

Hersh said it began by having their au pair “accidently” wake Shayna up for school and the “mishaps” layered on from here.

“Shayna typically wakes up at 5:45 a.m. for school to give (her) time for breathing treatments and chest therapy,” he explained. Not only was he trying to keep the secret for Shayna, but he also feared word would get out if her siblings knew.

“I told them I couldn’t explain what was happening, but I was leaving with Shayna and we weren’t returning until Sunday evening. My son wanted to go discuss the issue with Shayna, but I turned him and Mimi around and told them they had to go to school now and they couldn’t re-enter the house.”

And that was only the beginning of trying to keep things mysterious.

By 9 a.m. Friday, Shayna realized she wasn’t going to school and thought she had it all figured out.

“I told her it was a surprise. She said, ‘I know, we’re going to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH,’ ” Hersh said.

He told her that he could “neither deny nor confirm her suspicions” — a phrase she’d hear a lot that day.

Though he couldn’t keep the airport a secret, Hersh made sure Shayna turned away at the ticket kiosk and he even pretended to sit at the gate for San Francisco until boarding time.

Because Shayna naturally had Tigers on the brain, she asked her dad multiple times if they could see the Tigers play in New York once they arrived, he explained. He simply told her that the Tigers had the night off and that their trip was about visiting family.

“I told her we were going to meet cousins she’s never met at their synagogue for a Sabbath dinner. I told her the name of the synagogue was ‘Bait shel Ruth,’ ” he explained.

Hersh ended up dodging all kinds of giveaways that could have cost Shayna the entire surprise, like when staying in the same hotel as the entire team.

“As we got out of the airport car, Delmon Young walked past us to a waiting car. Luckily, Shayna didn’t recognize him,” he said.

After evening breathing treatments, it was time to go for Shabbat dinner, during which Hersh had to distract her every time the subway passed a Yankee Stadium sign. Soon enough, the wait to surprise her was over.

“As we arrived at the gate (of Yankee Stadium), I asked her if she knew what ‘bait shell Ruth’ translated into. She said ‘House of Ruth’ and then gave me a goofy smile and said ‘Babe Ruth!’” Hersh said. “I told her there were no cousins, the Sabbath service was inside and Justin Verlander was ‘leading the services from the mound.’ She was extremely excited.”

Of course, the day only got better with seats next to Verlander’s management team and Tigers’ families (all of who still had to keep the secret that she’d be meeting him the next morning).

Saturday after her treatments, Shayna and her dad headed for a Fan Cave tour that resulted in the infamous moment of shock recorded on camera when Verlander tapped her on the shoulder and she froze. It’s one of her favorite parts, she explained, and certainly the funniest moment for her classmates to watch.

“Shayna nearly fainted when she saw it was Justin tapping her on her back,” Hersh said. “She was totally caught off guard.”

It’s an experience that Hersh says they’ll never forget. He said Shayna even made sure to bring back autographed memorabilia for her brother and sister — a moment that made him proud as a father and added to the whole unforgettable experience.

“I am very excited for Shayna and in Justin Verlander’s debt,” he said. “He made a little girl’s dreams come true.”
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:50 PM   #29
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Cystic Fibrosis is a bitch of a disease. I'm always surprised it doesn't get more press. A kid in my class died of it in eighth grade.

Though doing a quick search, it looks like lifespan has almost doubled since then. Which is both awesome and amazing.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:12 AM   #30
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Matthew Stafford comes up with a generous gift, times two

Posted by Michael David Smith on May 21, 2012, 8:51 AM EDT

AP
When Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was approached about donating an item to a fundraising auction for University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, he came through with a package of tickets and travel to the Lions’ Monday Night Football game in Chicago in October. Then Stafford went to the auction, bought the item himself for $15,000, and gave it to a young patient at the hospital named Faith Falzone.

The Detroit News reached out to Stafford afterward, and he said he has gotten to know the Falzone family and wanted to see them enjoy the experience.

“They have been through so much in the past couple years, and to see how much they all supported each other and faith through their tough times was really inspiring,” Stafford said in a text message. “I wanted to give them something they could really be excited about and something I know they deserved.”

Others who deserve credit for their generosity include ESPN’s Monday Night Football play-by-play man Mike Tirico, who threw in two additional tickets to the package Stafford donated, and former Michigan players Brian Griese, Steve Hutchinson and Charles Woodson, who were the organizers of the fundraiser. Woodson has given $2 million of his own money to the hospital, and the fundraising efforts of Griese, Hutchinson and Woodson have totaled nearly $6 million over the last six years.

We're pretty lucky to have Stafford and Verlander in Detroit right now. Both seem like class guys....
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 AM   #31
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Seriously. Geez.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:51 AM   #32
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He's not a big name but this hits close to home with me for a couple reasons:

Brian Leonard: Embrace Kids (5/18/12)
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:50 PM   #33
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:59 PM   #34
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Damnit - beat me to it Grover.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:26 PM   #35
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:47 PM   #36
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He really is just an all around great guy.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:29 PM   #37
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Just to tie togther the Eric LeGrand / Tampa Bay story. He officially retired today to relinquish his roster spot since the team is entering camp. I just can't say it enough, but I have so much respect and admiration for him and the way he has handled this tragedy and lives his life. And big kudos to Tampa Bay and Greg Schiano for making his dream come true. It may have been a symbolic gesture, but it was heartfelt and touching and shows that some people still can keep perspective when there is so much pressure to win in the NFL.

Paralyzed former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand retires as a Buccaneer | Yardbarker.com
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:35 PM   #38
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Just to tie togther the Eric LeGrand / Tampa Bay story. He officially retired today to relinquish his roster spot since the team is entering camp. I just can't say it enough, but I have so much respect and admiration for him and the way he has handled this tragedy and lives his life. And big kudos to Tampa Bay and Greg Schiano for making his dream come true. It may have been a symbolic gesture, but it was heartfelt and touching and shows that some people still can keep perspective when there is so much pressure to win in the NFL.

Paralyzed former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand retires as a Buccaneer | Yardbarker.com

I love his statement about retiring. Awesome!

Hats off to him and the Tampa Bay organization.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:51 PM   #39
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:52 PM   #40
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Nice job, Mr. Smith.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:24 PM   #41
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Awesome, big props to Steve!!!
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:21 AM   #42
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:01 AM   #43
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He really is just an all around great guy.

FUCK, did I say that?
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:53 PM   #44
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FUCK, did I say that?

I actually believe him when he says his psycho of a wife (with a history of abuse) head butted him.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:40 PM   #45
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Quote:
FUCK, did I say that?

I actually believe him when he says his psycho of a wife (with a history of abuse) head butted him.
I want to as well.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:59 AM   #46
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Jon Kitna's greatest play: NFL QB to high-school math teacher | Seahawks | The Seattle Times

I love this story.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:50 AM   #47
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good read.


Not shocking from Kitna tho.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:08 AM   #48
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He also speaks at various youth sports camps in the area. Both he and Jamie Moyer do a hell of a lot for the communities here.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:14 PM   #49
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Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins sees potential in Ugandan Little Leaguers - ESPN
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:19 PM   #50
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I heard something at the gym about those Ugandan little leaguers - I thought it was just about the coolest story I'd heard in a while that they were over here playing in the LLWS.

Nice to see MLB players showing an interest too.

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