CFB wives step forward to help nation in wake of hurricane devastation

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Photo Courtesy The Express

FORT WORTH — Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico have all waded in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. College football, in response, stepped forward.

Coaches throughout the state and nation — their wives specifically — answered the call, creating a “Giving Beyond The Game Project,” late last month that will raise funds through a website and an online auction in November. It will include helmets signed by the head coaches of the participating schools, including Auburn, Clemson, Miami, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Stanford, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and TCU.

Kelsey Patterson, the wife of Texas Christian University Head Coach Gary Patterson, enlisted 20 wives of college head football coaches for a fundraising effort to help relief agencies in the Houston area, Florida and Puerto Rico.

“Gary and I visited about doing something about Harvey and Irma and started putting the wheels in motion and then Maria happened,” she said. “So we added Puerto Rico and [decided to] run the foundation through the Community Foundation of Texas. We have 20 coaches’ wives and one associate coach’s wife from 20 universities.”

Kelsey Patterson, wife of TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson, is one of the founders of the “Giving Beyond The Game Project.” The foundation is geared towards providing aid to survivors of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria (Courtesy TCU).

Some of the women involved in the “extensive and long-term relief” of those areas are Kristi Malzahn (wife of Auburn’s Gus Malzahn), Becky Dantonio (wife of Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio), Michelle Herman (wife of Texas’ Tom Herman), and Charlene Sumlin (wife of Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin) and are only a few of the foundation’s founders.

The campaign, which had a kickoff date that correlates with its Facebook site, started Sept. 29 and will continue through Dec. 9. The website, which will host an online auction through CBS Sports, launches Nov. 1 and closes Nov. 15.

We’re adding things as we go and are expecting other schools to join as the campaign takes life,” Kelsey said. “The great thing about this has been that when we started sending out the emails all the schools responded immediately, even though the season was in full swing. Nobody said no. If there’s a school that’s not on here, it’s because it was time sensitive and we had to get this to the market as soon as we could and get information to the people.

Proceeds from both the online auction and external donations will go to the Houston Food Bank, which feeds approximately 800,000 people per year, the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team, which plays a critical role in ensuring that animals impacted by disaster have a second chance at life, and Feeding South Florida and agencies in Puerto Rico, which partner closely with SERT, EOC, and FEMA organizations.

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