Many familiar with the situation believe that the NFL players who built the game years ago have inadequate disability and pension benefits, (especially compared to baseball players from the same era) and have been thrown under the bus by today’s player and owners.
Prior to his death, Baltimore Colt legend Johnny Unitas was a key advocate asking the the NFL and today’s multimillionare players to help the former players who literally paved the golden brick road for today’s NFL riches. Unfortunately, Unitas’s pleas is still ignored.
Several years ago Hall of Fame Bears legend Mike Ditka and others formed the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund to help former NFL players facing financial hardship or in need of medical assistance. This summer, if you would like to help a great cause, check out the following.
The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund will hold its second annual Hall of Fame Induction Charity Dinner at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, Michigan on Saturday, July 24th at 6:30 PM.
The event will honor 14 individuals for their outstanding football careers and contributions to the community. Prior to the dinner from 10 AM to 4PM, many of the former players will be available for an autograph session at the venue. Part of the proceeds from the events will be directed to the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund.
The honorees include Pro Football Hall of Famers Mike Ditka, Joe Schmidt, and Lem Barney, legendary NFL announcer Pat Summerall, former Lion standouts Mike Lucci, Lomas Brown, and Tom Nowatzke, former Baltimore Colt great Tom Matte, University of Michigan stars Bob Chappuis and John Greene, former U of M coach Lloyd Carr, current Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon, and Michigan State stars Lynn Chandnois and Walt Kowalczk. Detroit Piston play by play announcer and the former voice of the Detroit Lions Mark Champion will be the MC at the dinner.
“We are thrilled to be able to honor these very deserving individuals for their contributions to football but also for their charitable work in the community,” said Mark Lewis of the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund- Michigan chapter.
The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund is a 501 c 3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to helping retired NFL players in need of financial assistance for basic needs and medical assistance in large part due to inadequate disability and/or pensions. The organization has provided over $1.75 million in financial aid and medical assistance to retired NFL players.
Tickets for the dinner cost $125 per person or $1,100 per table of ten. For tickets, sponsorship, or advertising contact Gridiron Greats of Michigan 28151 Galien Drive South Lyon, Mi 48178, or call (248) 444-2241. Email: [email protected].