The New York Jets were out in full force supporting linebacker Davis Harris in a Golf Fundraiser for an incredible cause.
It was a bright, sunny day filled with the smell of the barbecue at Greenbrook Country Club in North Caldwell, NJ. Over 45 players and coaches of the New York Jets attended at David Harris’ annual golf fundraiser, most notably head coach Todd Bowles, cornerback Darrelle Revis, and center Nick Mangold, to show their support in raising money for the Give the Kids Hope Foundation.
At his seventh annual golf outing, Harris told Eric Allen: “I’ve been blessed to still be part of the Jets and part of the community for this long, and every year it’s getting bigger and better…And the community has turned out and showed tremendous support and I can’t ask for anything more.”
Danielle McCartan (@coachmccartan) interviews Nick Mangold at his annual golf outing to raise money for the Give the Kids Hope Foundation. Photo Credit: Give the Kids Hope Foundation.
Trading their headsets, helmets and pads for golf visors, polos and slacks, I caught up with Bowles and many of the Jets players in the clubhouse. All were excited to be there in support of Harris. Actually, Bowles said he gave the team the day off of practice if they came to the golf outing. As if they needed any more incentive, Jets players were gushing with compliments for Harris, his leadership and the charitable work he does.
Links to my full-length, video interviews are linked to the players’ quotes:
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Mangold: “It’s fantastic, even though Dave went to Michigan, I can’t hold that against him. Because he’s doing good things for kids and the fact that we get to use our little bit of celebrity and hopefully if that helps out, it’s good.”
Bryce Petty: “Really, he just said golf, and I came here. But it is important, that what he’s doing as a teammate to show support for whatever charity these guys are doing. It’s an awesome platform for us, as athletes to be able to do something like this and to be able to include your teammates”.
Revis: “Me and David have been longtime friends, we came up together in the same draft class in 2007 and we’ve been roommates in training camp a few times. So, we share a lot of history with each other and he’s a dear friend of mine so anything he does charity-wise or through his foundation, I’m here to support…. If Dave asks, I’m here to support in the cause”.
Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles reacts against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
While they are professional football players and coaches, the jury is still out on their golf-game, however. Bowles, full of confidence (and with a smirk), told me “[his] golf game is outstanding. [He’s] taking over for Tiger since he retired”. While Smith told me his golf game is “a work in progress. Definitely shooting around 100, 110”, he’s “still got a lot of work to do, but gettin’ better every day”. Skrine, with a laugh, remarked his was “awful“. Mangold, flatly: “I’ve gotten out once this year, so it’s going to be a mess“.
Players, whether they were golfing or not, mingled with fans and fellow golfers at a luncheon, shotgun start golf outing, cocktail reception and formal dinner. While the cost of golfing and sponsorship ranged from $1,500 (foursome) to $5,000 (touchdown sponsorship), others purchased $95 cocktail hour and dinner tickets. Here, people were able to bid on many auction items, including footballs signed by every player in attendance, an Andy Pettitte autographed jersey, tricky tray baskets, 50/50 raffle, and more.
“The foundation was started … to provide less fortunate children the opportunity for recreational and educational activities that they might not otherwise have, including a chance to go to summer camp and sing by a campfire, take a nature walk or enjoy an educational trip to the zoo” (official media release).
While it is too soon for a total amount raised to be calculated,
Banner at David Harris Golf invitational. Photo courtesy of the Give the Kids Hope Foundation.
Maria Paladino Fitz of Media Consultants, LLC told me that the fundraiser keeps “getting bigger every single year”. She added: “the foundation has raised funds for many major improvements to Camp Hope in West Milford, NJ and has a goal in 2016 to build a new spray park pavilion and a new recreation building with a theater and game room for indoor activities for the campers during inclement weather.” Due, largely to David Harris and the New York Jets, every summer, 2,700 underprivileged kids attend this summer camp, free of charge.
“David Harris has become the face of Give the Kids Hope Foundation [since 2010], inspiring many less fortunate youngsters with his enthusiastic participation and recalling that his own humbled upbringing led him to become involved.”
For more information about Give the Kids Hope Foundation, Inc. contact Stephen Tilton Jr., President at email@example.com or 973-256-1065. You can also visit their website: https://givethekidshope.org/