It’s June 5, 2021. We have big plans today. We are going to get a family in Maryland a much needed air conditioning unit and large dining room table….
I left my house in Chesapeake, Va at 7:00 am and headed to Hogfarmer Corey’s house to pick up a donated brand new air conditioning unit. I have my youngest daughter Allie with me and we will be heading to Staunton after Corey’s. Allie will hangout with Chris’s daughters for the day.
I get to Corey’s around 10:00 am because traffic was awful! A couple accidents, lots of construction but it will not dampen our day. Corey helps me load the air conditioning unit in my 4Runner and about 100 boxes of legos that were previously donated by Robert Peterson.
After we were loaded up we hit the road to Chris’s house in Staunton. It’s another 2 hours there. Some backstory…. We have a family in Maryland with a young cancer survivor named Callum. As with most families battling cancer it takes a little while to get up on your feet due to medical bills or just spending so much time in a hospital. Many parents quit their jobs due to the daily commitments needed for their child to receive the treatments required to live.
Corey works for a large HVAC distributor and had one donated for the family. The Roullier family (Yes, our starting Center Chase Roullier) reached out to donate a large dining room table that he made.
I arrived at Chris’s house around noon. We loaded up some of the store items we provide into my car so I can take them to HogFarmer Jeff who lives in Va Beach. We loaded the air conditioning unit into a rental van and strapped a giant Terry McLaurin fathead to the grill. Of course we had to put a video of it out on social media. (Now that I think about it, glad we didn’t overheat the engine)
After everything was loaded we headed to another 2 hours to the Roullier’s house in Ashburn. On the way we discussed the WFT, the season, the charity, fundraising ideas, improvements, etc. About an hour into the trip Chris noticed he had a message from Jason Wright. He noticed Chris’s social media post that we would be in Ashburn and invited us to Inova Sports and Performance Center (formerly Redskins Park). Chris and I were obviously in shock and excited. I can not think of another NFL team President that would do this. I wrote him back and said we would be there at 3. He replied that he would push a meeting he had scheduled to make it happen. (How cool is that).
We arrived at Chase’s house just after 2:00 and dismantled this HUGE table. After it was all broken down, we loaded it up into the van and met Robert Peterson who was donating even more items. Afterwards, we headed to “The Park”. We were a little late due to traffic and arrived at the front gate at 3:10 pm.
We hit the security button and a gentleman on the other end asked why we were there and did we have an appointment? Chris responded, “ummm Jason Wright told us to meet him here”. The guy was 100% not convinced and told us to hold on. We messaged Jason while we waited to let him know they didn’t believe us. Shortly afterwards a gentleman came running with a keycard in hand to let us in. As we entered and turned right towards the building, there was Jason Wright standing in the parking lot waiting for us.
We got out, Jason dapped us up like he knew us his entire life. (Am I dreaming……). Ok pause.. First impression: who you see and hear on social media is 100% who he is. He’s intelligent, confident yet humble and down to earth. He’s a good guy, point blank! Ok unpause…. After the greetings he invites us in and explained their COVID protocols. We will be masked up for this tour to ensure we are following their guidelines. At the door is a fancy face scanner/temperature reader. Felt like Captain Kirk was leading us into the Enterprise. The scanner recognized Jason and referred to Chris and I as the unknowns. I point that out because that’s how it felt, big dog Jason Wright taking time out his day to bring some joy to the unknowns.
Immediately through the doors are the 3 Lombardi trophies to the left in a glass case and multiple awards and historical memorabilia to the right. Jason took us to the weight room, let us quick peak in Coach’s office, peak in Dan Snyder’s office, showed us Julie’s studio and her makeshift studio. He took us to the locker room, the room free agents sign in, the cafeteria, Doug Williams office and of course his own after making sure there wasn’t any “top secret information” on the boards.
We talked about football, the future, COVID protocol, their stadium tour. You could see the vision he has for the WFT and feel it in his voice. I like to read people. Jason is authentic! He is confident because he knows the work that he has put in. He belongs. He remembers where he came from and he likes to be challenged. I believe this job is a challenge for him so he is motivated to meet and exceed that challenge.
Jason had a meeting to go to and we had a table and air conditioning to deliver so we said our goodbyes and departed. I sent Jason an appreciative thank you message and he responded that he appreciated us to. I remember before leaving that he told us how appreciative he was of all the fans that stayed during the rough times and how he’s working to get the others back and connect with the next generation. Oh and of course I asked him about a new stadium to which he replied, “if we do our jobs correctly, you won’t hear anything until we are ready to announce it”. I loved that! NO LEAKS!!!
We arrived at Callum’s house just before 5:00 pm. We unloaded everything and set up the table and AC unit. Callum was happy to see us and we were happy to see him and his family. They were all so kind and appreciative and that made our hearts feel complete. Callum had received a puppy shortly before we had gotten there and told us all about her.
It’s really amazing what a small gesture will do for a family. I loved all the smiles and interaction. It’s a good feeling to do good things for people because you enjoy it so much. Helping families affected by pediatric cancer is humbling, rewarding and sometimes heartbreaking. The things these families experience are unbelievable. They need us and all the thousands of amazing donors out there. They need more funding and more research! Hopefully we get them what they need soon..
We had a 3 hour drive back to Chris’s house where we reflected on the day and planned on how we could do more. We talked about our Probationary Hogfarmer Keith. We are excited about Keith because he is passionate about helping. We got to Chris’s after 8 and I got home to Chesapeake after midnight.
It was a long day, but it was rewarding, both personally and for the charity. We fulfilled our mission and had a lot of fun. I want to thank all the donors who make this possible! I say all the time that you guys are the engine, and we steer the car. Both are equally important, and you do not get anywhere without the other. Thank you to the families for allowing us to be a part of your family. Thank you to Jason Wright for treating two regular fans like rockstars for the day. WFT is certainly on the way up with the many outstanding individuals working collectively to improve every facet of the organization.