The offseason is obviously a slow time for NFL news – a time for players to rest and recover. Luckily several Denver Broncos players also took some time out of the their vacations to give back to their communities.
Professional athletes make big headlines much too often for breaking the law, but there are a lot of good deeds being done by players (and not just Peyton Manning). Here are a few examples of events Broncos players participated in or organized this offseason. It is far from complete – feel free to post events, foundations I missed in the comments section and I’ll update the post.
- In April several Broncos players participated in the Salute to Fans Tour which stopped at 20 locations around Colorado over 6 days. Mitch Unrein, Virgil Green, Malik Jackson, Kevin Vickerson, David Bruton, and Ben Garland took photos and chatted with fans at these events.
- In May Mitch Unrein hosted the Denver Draft Party, an annual charity bowling event that occurs on the first day of the NFL draft. This is another opportunity for fans to meet players with the added bonus of raising money for several charities. In addition to Unrein, Von Miller, Aqib Talib, Sylvestor Williams, T.J. Ward, Joel Dresson, Kayvon Webster, and David Bruton (among many others) chatted with fans and signed autographs at this event.
- Derek Wolfe hosted a Summer Charity Bash in June that raised money for his Wolfe Pack Foundation which raises money to help underprivileged youth football programs in Denver.
- Ben Garland hosted a Bags/Cornhole Tournament in May that benefitted the SoDE Foundation which is working to end sex-trafficking.
- DeMarcus Ware ran in the Wings for Life World Run which benefits funding for spinal cord injury research.
- Wes Welker attended an event put on by the Family Reach Foundation which raises money for children with cancer and he has his own foundation in Oklahoma the Wes Welker Foundation.
- Jacob Tamme runs the Swings for Soldiers golf tournament that supports Homes for Our Troops in Kentucky.
- Orlando Franklin has a foundation in Toronto that helps at-risk teens.
- Virgil Green has teamed up with United Way to create Team Virgil which helps to recruit volunteers to help reduce the high school dropout rate.
- Von Miller’s Von’s Vision Foundation, which helps identify children who need glasses and provide glasses to these kids, was very active this offseason. The foundation hosted vision screenings, distributed prescription glasses, and hosted a fundraising dinner to raise money for the foundation.
- Many Broncos players also host or attend football camps for teens in Denver and throughout the country. Some of the players who hosted football camps during the offseason include Demaryius Thomas, Chris Harris, Wes Welker, and Emmanuel Sanders.
- And then of course there is Peyton Manning. Since 1999 Manning’s Peyback Foundation has raised over $6.5 millions for programs benefitting children at risk in Indiana, Louisiana, Tennessee, and now Colorado. This offseason Manning was the keynote speaker at several local events including the John Lynch Foundation’s Salute the Stars Luncheon where middle and high school athletes were recognized for excelling in athletics and their involvement in the community. Manning was also of course at the Manning Passing Academy – perhaps the most famous summer football camp in the country.
It’s great to see so many Broncos players being active in their communities, both in Denver and their hometowns. Hopefully next offseason there will be even more events to report.