Stampeders players discuss journeys through football and faith at fundraiser
Canadian Football League (CFL) fans heard first-hand about some of their favourite gridiron players’ journeys at the Town and Country Centre on Oct. 25 during the second annual Faith and Football fundraising dinner.
“One of our biggest things that we like to do as a team is to give back to the community,” Calgary Stampeders Team Chaplin and event host Rodd Sawatzky said. “With an event such as this one here, it gives the fans a chance to listen to the players as they talk about their journey through football, and as to how their faith impacts them.”
Calgary Stampeders slot back Marquay McDaniel, linebacker Deron Mayo, linebacker Juwan Simpson, slot back Jabari Arthur, defensive back Keon Raymond, wide receiver Spencer Armstrong, slotback Nik Lewis, and quarterback Kevin Glenn were in attendance at the event, as they signed autographs and talked about their lives on and off the field in a question-and-answer session.
“I think it’s good that we get to share about our lives with the fans here, as it gives those in the community a chance to see a different perspective of our lives,” Glenn said. “They see us out on the field running into each other a lot of the time, but I think having them hear us talk about our faith is very encouraging.”
Members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders were also scheduled to attend the event ahead of their game with the Stampeders on Oct. 26, but they were unable to appear after the team arrived in Calgary much later than expected.
Roughrider fans wouldn’t leave disappointed as defensive tackle Keith Shologan and defensive end John Chick spoke via telephone.
“Even though they were unable to come in person, it was great to see Keith and John contact me and ask how can we step in,” Sawatzky said. “I know that many of the Roughrider fans were disappointed at first because their favourite players couldn’t come, but I know that they were pretty pleased that both John and Keith could be a part of the event.”
Although the final amount of funds raised for the Athletes In Action organization, which is a ministry that focuses on domain of sport, had yet to be determined as of press time, event organizer Tara Arnot said that this year’s dinner was a rousing success.
“I’ve already had people coming up to me asking if there is any way that they can help out for next year’s dinner, which has been awesome to hear,” Arnot said. “We had a lot of people here for the second straight year, and I know that from talking to a few of them that they enjoyed themselves once again.”
For more information on next year’s fundraiser, contact Arnot at 403-926-2871.