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Through Loss, A Charity Is Born

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kramerring.jpgTwenty-five years ago, Jerry Kramer was on a flight from Chicago to New York and his Super Bowl I ring was stolen. (That’s from the first Super Bowl.) Cut to present day when Jerry finds his ring for sale on the web. Jerry, of course, notified the auction company and they returned his ring to him, with much media attention. Then Jerry had an idea, he’d use the attention to spread the word that he would auction off his replacement ring to help out retired NFL players in need.

Now, you may be thinking: NFL players? In need? It’s true. What’s often called football’s “greatest generation” of pre-1977 players are receiving very little money from their pension. These guys that spent their youth beating up their bodies are now having trouble paying medical bills. The website for the charity, JerryKramer.com, gives more details:

The lack of an adequate pension and retirement program for the older players has left many of these football heroes receiving only $100-$300 in pension money from the NFL. Case in point: NFL Great and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Herb Adderley receives $126.85 per month in pension. As a result, some of the men who have given so much to the game can’t afford to buy medicine or to cover medical expenses for necessary surgeries to remedy football related injuries. Case in point: NFL Great and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Willie Wood has now been placed in assisted living care, but he could not afford the care and has been in dire need of financial aid for some time. Thanks to the kindness of the Ditka Trust, former teammates and others, enough money was raised to provide his necessary care. Some players have even found themselves without a roof over their head. Others live in isolation and loneliness, embarrassed by the condition in which they have found themselves in their golden years.

Mike Ditka’s NFC Champ RingTo give this new charity an appropriate kick-off (pun intended), Kramer along with other NFL greats have donated memorabilia and one-of-a-kind items. (A popular item at the moment: Mike Ditka‘s 1975 Cowboys NFC Championship Ring.) They are currently being auctioned off to tie in with the Super Bowl. The auction runs through February 13 and the funds will go to assist retired NFL players in dire need.

Turns out it was a good thing that Kramer had his ring stolen.

Via – PR Web

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