Hometown hero Andy Dalton brings his foundation to Fort Worth|
March 7, 2013
Anyone who has ever met Andy Dalton — and that’s quite a few people in Fort Worth — knew it wasn’t if, but when the former TCU quarterback would start a charitable foundation.
And he didn’t wait long. He and wife Jordan created the Andy and Jordan Dalton Foundation in 2011, his rookie season with the Cincinnati Bengals. The foundation’s mission was to provide opportunities, support and resources to children and their families in need throughout the Greater Cincinnati area.
And they love Cincinnati. But Fort Worth, where they live during much of the off-season, will always be home. So they were thrilled to kick off the foundation’s inaugural local fundraising event Monday evening at Texas de Brazil downtown.
“We have so much we’ve been blessed with,” Andy Dalton said. “To go visit these hospitals and see these kids and all the things they’re going through and to think the little bit we can do to help out can really benefit them — so it’s huge. To see smiles on kids’ faces means the world to us.”
The couple hoped to raise almost $100,000 Monday night. That should be easy after a gander at some of the items up for live auction, which included exclusive vacation getaways for seven to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (starting bid $13,000), two passes to the PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y. (starting bid $7,000) and a three-night New York City stay at The Plaza Hotel with extras galore (starting bid $5,000).
Silent auction items included a Kindle Fire, a round of golf for four at Canyon Creek Country Club and multiple Andy Dalton-signed Bengals and Horned Frogs jerseys. Tickets to the event cost between $100 and $125 dollars and allowed attendees a chance to mingle and take pictures with the TCU hero and his wife.
“We love being a part of Cincinnati, and it’s our home,” said Jordan, who grew up in Richardson. “But this is our home where we grew up, where we met. We have our family and a bunch of friends in the community that supports us. And especially for him, playing football at TCU, this is his community.”
The foundation has been active, helping children in need in Ohio for two years. In Fort Worth, the first offering from the foundation will be installing a locker filled with iPads, games and other gadgets in the Cook Children’s infusion services room where chemotherapy and other medications are administered.
“Sometimes families are in there for hours upon hours,” Jordan said. “It’s a chance for them to take their mind off things. We want to give the children in this community a chance at happiness. I think it’s the first stepping stone for a longtime [relationship]. I think it’s our time to make a dent in this community hopefully.”
On the drive over to the event Monday, the realization hit them that they were beginning a foundation at the ripe ages of 24 and 25.
“It’s huge,” the 25-year-old Andy said. “For us to even be able to start a foundation right now, being so young, and being able to help ... we feel like since Fort Worth is our home, we want to bring it back here because there will be a day when I’m done playing and we still want to have the foundation going and be able to help out.”
“It’s just very humbling,” Jordan said. “I feel like God has given us this platform to do something really awesome, and we’re going to do our best to follow through with it.”
Andy’s parents, who got used to making trips from Katy to watch their son play at TCU, enjoyed seeing the couple spread the foundation to Fort Worth.
“Andy and Jordan love Fort Worth,” Greg Dalton said. “This is where they wanted to plant their roots. They’re very thankful to the Fort Worth community and the TCU community for all they’ve done. It’s just a way to give back to the city.”
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