(Nashville, Tenn. – June 22, 2011) With support from dozens of Alabama players and coaches, including legendary Alabama coach Gene Stallings, The Kevin Turner Foundation raised more than $100,000 at its inaugural ALS fundraiser this past weekend.
Held Saturday, June 18, at a private residence in Nashville, Tenn., the event was organized to raise money for ex-Alabama and NFL fullback Kevin Turner, who was diagnosed with the ALS disease in May 2010. Former National Championship-winning coach Stallings, current Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and dozens of current and former Alabama and NFL players were among the nearly 300 attendees on hand to show their support for Turner and his nonprofit foundation, which aims to raise money and awareness about ALS and its connection to brain injury in athletes.
Brian Burgdorf, Michael DeJohn, Preston Dial, Chris Donnelly, Sam Gash, Lemanski Hall, Jim Bob Harris, Gary Hollingsworth, Baron Huber, David "Hoss" Johnson, Mike Johnson, Kermit Kendrick, Keith Martin, Woody McCorvey, Bubba Miller, Jeremy Nunley, Benny Perris, Cory Reamer, Craig Sanderson, Siran Stacy, John Walters, Clay Whitehurst and Mike Zuga were among the more than two dozen players in attendance. Alabama commentator and former Cleveland Browns GM Phil Savage served as MC of the event, which included a silent and live auction, a cigar tent, food, drinks and musical performances from Country artists Ty Herndon and Amber Hayes.
"Anyone that was there that night knows I was at a loss for words," says Turner, who played a combined eight seasons in the '90s for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. "Well, I'm still speechless. I can't believe the generosity and concern that I've witnessed in the last year of my life. I've said before that I feel blessed, and that may sound strange coming from a guy with ALS, but from where I stand, it doesn't look that way to me. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of the people that made this event possible and were kind enough to help fund the Kevin Turner Foundation so we can continue our fight against ALS and find a cure for this disease."
Auction items at the event included an original bleacher seat from Bryant-Denny Stadium, NFL and college football game tickets, golf and resort packages, specially commissioned artwork, jewelry and an assortment of autographed sports memorabilia, including jerseys and helmets signed by numerous Alabama players, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, current Alabama coach Nick Saban and former coach Stallings. An original portrait of Turner was the highest-bid item of the evening, going for $5,000.
The Kevin Turner Foundation was created in November 2010 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and money to fund critical ALS research and the recent connection doctors have made between ALS and traumatic brain injury, specifically concussions. Country artist Ty Herndon's "Journey On" is the official song of The Kevin Turner Foundation. Turner and two of his children star in the music video, which was shot at LP Field in Nashville. To learn more about The Kevin Turner Foundation, donate or view the "Journey On" video, visit: www.KevinTurnerFoundation.org.
About the Kevin Turner Foundation:
Former NFL fullback Kevin Turner established The Kevin Turner Foundation in November 2010 to raise public awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, and to bring attention to the emerging evidence linking brain trauma in athletes and the ALS disease. The nonprofit organization endeavors to raise funds for the study, treatment and cure of this debilitating disease. To learn more or to make a donation, visit www.KevinTurnerFoundation.org.
Players and coaches gather at the Kevin Turner Foundation ALS fundraiser, held June 18 in Nashville, Tenn. Pictured l to r: Kermit Kendrick, Sam Gash, Dabo Swinney, Siran Stacy, Brian Burgdorf, Clay Whitehurst, Chris Donnelly, Gary Hollingsworth, Craig Sanderson, Preston Dial, Gene Stallings, Kevin Turner, John Walters, Cory Reamer, Michael DeJohn, Baron Huber, Mike Johnson, David "Hoss" Johnson, Lemanski Hall. Photo credit: Jeff Jeffcoat.
Former Alabama football head coach Gene Stallings (l) with Kevin Turner at the Kevin Turner Foundation ALS fundraiser, held June 18 in Nashville, Tenn. Photo credit: Christy Watkins.
Kevin Turner (r) examines the specially commissioned art that was created for the Kevin Turner Foundation ALS fundraiser, held June 18 in Nashville, Tenn. The painting was the highest-bid item of the night, going for $5,000. Photo credit: Chelsea DeLoach.