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How To Handle A Charity Event With Someone Else's Name On It

Posted by Matt Terl on April 27, 2010 – 4:16 pm

Yesterday was The Jason Campbell Leukemia Golf Classic, a benefit for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The more astute visual learners out there will have already noted that the person at the podium in front of the enormous JASON CAMPBELL banner is not, in fact, Jason Campbell, and I’m sure many of you have further ID’ed the speaker there as tight end Chris Cooley.

The reason Cooley is running the show at Campbell’s event is, of course, because the quarterback was traded to Oakland on Saturday — and so Oakland is where he was when time for the golf event rolled around on Monday.

Some reports suggested that Cooley had taken over for Campbell, but Cooley was quick to clarify that. “I’m here in place of Jason,” he said. “I don’t think I’m really taking over, because a TON of work goes into this, and I know Jason put a lot of his time and effort into it. I just showed up. I’m just here ‘on behalf’ of Jason.” Read more »

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Redskins Distribute (And Discuss) Coats

Posted by Matt Terl on December 15, 2009 – 11:02 am

It’s the holiday season, so I’ll be heading out to a Santa-themed charitable event at FedExField today. But Antwaan Randle El was ahead of that curve: on Friday, his El Foundation partnered with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation to hold his “Randle El Warms Up Washington’s Youth” event at a local Macy’s, giving away 300 coats to underserved area youth alongside a bunch of his teammates.

December in this area isn’t all holiday cheer; we all know how bitterly cold it can get. So the gift of winter coats is a valuable one, something Randle El understands. “They certainly deserve these coats and need these coats,” he said Friday. “And it’s a good thing. It not only warms their bodies with the coats, it warms their hearts too knowing that somebody is thinking of them.”

But we all know that — even for kids who need them — coats are about more than just warmth. There are all sorts of style and status implications of a new coat, or at least there were back in the day.

“My favorite coat growing up was the Starter coat,” Randle El said. “I never had a Starter coat, but that was the coat I wanted. I would’ve wanted the Chicago Bears Starter coat. I never got one, but that’s the one I would want.”

He wasn’t the only one who had that response.

Read more »

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Wednesday, December 2: Redskins Discuss Easy Bake Ovens

Posted by Matt Terl on December 2, 2009 – 10:52 am

One last bit from yesterday’s “Holiday Wishes Come True” event, hosted by Renaldo Wynn and his wife LaTanya (along with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, the Family of Faith foundation, and Target).

Even though the event was about giving tangible gifts to kids as we get into the meat of the holiday season, Wynn made absolutely certain to remind everyone what the real purpose of the event — and the holidays — is. “Whenever we’re given the opportunity,” he said, “that’s our goal as human beings: to serve others. And it’s just a great feelin’ when you come and you give yourself to someone else, I think that’s the greatest gift you can have.”

And he’s probably right about that. Still, though, the kids seemed really enthusiastic about the material gifts they were getting, too. Read more »

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Redskins Kill Time By Doodling

Posted by Matt Terl on December 1, 2009 – 4:55 pm

Renaldo Wynn
‘s “Holiday Wishes Come True” event was a big success today. Wynn, along with his wife LaTanya and a huge number of his teammates, escorted local children in need through Target, providing each kid with a hundred dollars to use toward whatever they wanted for the holiday season.

Byron Westbrook was one of the players who helped out with — and enjoyed — the event. “This was a great event today,” he said, “being able to help these kids who can’t get some of these gifts all the time get some of what they did want for Christmas. And it helps the parents out as well, gets something to make their kids happy. The kids had big smiles on their face the whole day.”

Westbrook and a few of his teammates, though, did run into some downtime before the event got started, and they amused themselves by tracing their hands on the disposable tablecloth in front of them and autographing the handprint. Read more »

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Thursday, November 12: Redskins And Make-A-Wish

Posted by Matt Terl on November 12, 2009 – 8:22 am

It’s been a week full of charitable events for the Redskins; this one is from Monday, a fundraiser through the Redskins Charitable Foundation for the Make-A-Wish Foundation at Morton’s The Steakhouse. Redskins players — including Albert Haynesworth, Jeremy Jarmon, and Jason Campbell — acted as servers, hosts, bartenders and so on, with all the tips and other proceeds going to charity.

And, apparently, Make-A-Wish made one young man’s dream of being a TV presenter come true, as Rock Cartwright seems very enthusiastic about interviewing his teammates for this Redskins.com TV piece.

http://p.castfire.com/ZoOZ0/video/190267/redskins_2009-11-11-094530.flv Read more »

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Wednesday, November 4: A Bit More From The Event Yesterday

Posted by Matt Terl on November 4, 2009 – 2:22 pm

It’s been a frustrating Technical Difficulties Wednesday. I’m hoping things are back to normal-ish now. We’ll see.


One thing that’s gotten a little lost in the coverage of yesterday’s charitable event — including my own — is that it wasn’t actually about the owner talking to the media. It was about the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation unveiling their partnership with Price George’s County Public Schools, which covers not only the maintenance of the fields, but also the continuation of many other charitable programs: Coaches in the Classroom, Redskins Read, 4th & Life, Harvest Feast and more.

It was a big deal for the Charitable Foundation — and that, in fact, was the focus of owner Daniel Snyder’s FIRST (and somewhat less-reported) comments yesterday.

Actually, his first comments are drowned out by the crowd and the wind, and his second comments are about giving the players a round of applause for being there on their day off. But after that he continued with the charitable stuff. Even there, though, you can spot hints of his frustration with the Redskins leaking through.

“The twelve fields that we’re doing are very, very important to us, because it’s giving back to the community. That’s what it’s all about. We recognize the importance of Prince George’s County, where our stadium, FedExField is — and we hope to do a little better next game there,” he said.
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Bring A Children's Book To Sunday's Game; Redskins Recommend Green Eggs And Ham. Again.

Posted by Matt Terl on October 17, 2009 – 12:29 pm

At this Sunday’s home game against the Kansas City Chiefs, there will be Redskins Read collection bins set up at every gate into FedExField. If you’re coming to the game, please consider bringing a new children’s book to donate; all books received will be redistributed to needy children throughout the DMV.

Last year at about this time, I went around the locker room asking players about their favorite children’s books. In the process, I learned that Fred Smoot was the only guy on the planet who had fond memories of a book called Sun Up, and virtually everyone else like Green Eggs and Ham.

This year, instead of thinking of something new, I figured I’d ask the same question to some of the guys I had missed last season.

Pretty much nothing had changed.

Read more »

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Rock Cartwright Reads, Does Not Have a Jet Plane

Posted by Matt Terl on October 6, 2009 – 11:41 am


The video above should teach several very useful lessons.

  • Rock Cartwright read to kids yesterday at Redskins Park, as part of the Redskins Read campaign.
  • The microphone on my camera is not excellent.
  • Cartwright’s real name is Roderick, his favorite number is (unsurprisingly) 31, and his favorite ice cream is cookies and cream.
  • When given the chance to ask NFL players questions, kids will inevitably ask about private jets, cars, and autographs.
  • If you put a large enough number of kids on a large, empty field, it doesn’t matter what’s in front of them; at least one kid will start rolling around aimlessly.
  • Cartwright does not have a private jet.

Cartwright is the kind of guy who honestly enjoys the charitable events. “Bein’ able to come out, put a smile on kids’ faces, and being able to help out,” he said, “any time I can do that, I do. I have two kids of my own, so I try to get used to what’s goin’ on and what they’re doin’ at school, and I used to read the older one Dr. Seuss, The Cat In The Hat, stuff like that.” Read more »

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All-Star Survivors Luncheon Has Really Grown Since Last Year

Posted by Matt Terl on September 29, 2009 – 4:01 pm

Last year, Chris Cooley organized a little event at Redskins Park on one of his Tuesdays off that turned into one of the best charitable events I attended all year, treating a group of breast cancer survivors to lunch, a tour of Redskins Park, and makeup kits, wigs, headscarves, jeans, and gift bags.

This year, that little event got just a bit bigger. Instead of being just Cooley, the thirty women this year were hosted by Cooley and his wife Christy, Derrick Dockery and his wife Emma, Daniel Snyder’s wife Tanya, and the wives of many other players and coaches. Read more »

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Robert Henson Interacts With The Public In A Much Better Way

Posted by Matt Terl on September 22, 2009 – 4:44 pm

Rookie linebacker Robert Henson made the front page of the newpaper today, and it wasn’t a good thing. As most people have probably heard, Henson was shaken by the negative reaction of the crowd at Sunday’s game and expressed his disapproval very publicly via Twitter, which then got more public when the mainstream media picked it up. I’m not going to go over the whole story here; the front page story on the Washington Post describes all the lurid details, and you can read it there if that’s what you’re looking for.

That whole incident took me completely by surprise, and not just for the obvious reason that you don’t expect a football player to berate the fans. Here’s the thing: when the rookies came in this year, Henson came across as a level-headed guy who was extremely grateful for the opportunity he had received, and the more I found out about him, the more I felt like that initial impression was confirmed.

Lest you think this is just me backing up someone who’s part of the organization, the guys over at Hogs Haven — as talented and independent of bloggers as you could hope to find — managed to somehow arrange a dinner with Henson and his family, and came away with pretty much the same impression.

What didn’t surprise me was that Henson apologized for the incident; anyone would’ve, of course, but talking to him, I thought he seemed legitimately contrite.

And, through a mostly fortunate quirk of timing, Henson got a chance today to reach out to the public in a different, MUCH more constructive way, leading more than 40 burn survivors on a tour of FedExField.

Let me jump the obvious, cynical response first: this is not, repeat NOT, an opportunistic headline grab. “I don’t want people to think I threw this together last minute,” Henson told me. “We set it up probably about a month ago; it’s a foundation that I feel is very close to my personal experiences as a child.”
Read more »

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