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Sometimes “All about the money” is a good thing

Are you sick of the players versus owners (millionaires vs. billionaires) scenarios that was the National Football League lockout? How about “tattoo-gate” down in Columbus, or everything about the University of Miami (Florida) scandal? Did the USC Trojan football team make more money than the Oakland Raiders? There’s even more NCAA investigations into the Oregon and North Carolina football programs…you get the idea.
I am, and it has been brought to my attention that some local high school football programs have the quarterbacks and running backs playing for money!
Before you get upset, the money they are playing for goes to a charity called Rush for a Cause.
Rush for a Cause was created by Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School graduate Matt Galland after his junior year in response to a player from a neighboring community suffered a paralyzing injury from a routine tackle during a game. Galland was deeply troubled by this, and wanted to find a way to do something to help. The mission of Rush for a Cause is to “support tragically and severely injured athletes, raise awareness for the needy and help promote injury prevention. Throughout the football season, Rush for a Cause urges businesses and community members to pledge donations for every yard that each individual or team runs during games. In the 2010 season Galland and his family sent out e-mails to coaches of the surrounding area asking for help with this mission. It has only grown since then.
Currently the University of Miami (Ohio) and 37 Ohio high schools are involved with the charity, including Lakewood, Westlake and Olmsted Falls.
When Westlake coach Mark Campo found out about the charity, he asked his featured running back Jonathan Brick if he was interested in pledging.
“Of course,” Brick said. “I’d love to give back to the community.”
That short conversation started Brick’s involvement with the charity. He figured he had helped the cause last year, and enjoyed doing it, so he would do it again this year.
“I think it is a great charity that goes for a great cause,” Brick said. “Knowing that there are people out there thinking about high school athletes, not just the ones making headlines for signing to Division I colleges, is very neat. It’s such a good idea. I’m surprised no had thought of it before.”
In 2010 Brick ran for 999 yards and is looking to go well over 1,000 yards in this year’s campaign.
This year is the first year of Lakewood High School’s involvement with the charity. Lakewood head coach Ron Lewis approached his feature runner, Ben Fitchwell, to be the team’s representative this season.
“I thought Ben (Fitchwell) is not only a great choice for us because he is going to get quite a few carries for us this year, but he’s a real good kid with a good heart that the other kids rally around,” Lewis said. “It’s one of those things where you take a bad situation and try to make something positive out of it. For every bad high school kid you hear about, there are one hundred good ones.”
Olmsted Falls High School is pledging as a “Team Effort” this season, so all the rushing yards by any back counts towards the total at year’s end.
I think that this is extremely mature for these kids to think of others that they probably will never meet, and we do have to remember that they are still “kids”. So, go out and watch some really great football in your own community. Pledge or make a donation if you can, and support these athletes and their cause.
To make a donation or pledge to Jonathan Brick, contact his parents at bricktc@yahoo.com. To make a pledge or donation to Lakewood or Olmsted Falls, either contact the school or ask at the gate during the games. To donate directly go to rushforacause.org/Donate, or e-mail them at rushforacause@yahoo.com. If you prefer to donate by personal check, please make checks payable to Rush For A Cause and mail to:
Rush For A Cause
P.O. Box 41327
Brecksville, Ohio 44141

 

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