Brigance Celebrates 40th With Charity Fundraiser

OJ Brigance 275The Brigance Brigade Foundation is hosting a special 40th birthday party for its founder, O.J. Brigance, tonight. The event, which doubles as a charity fundraiser for the foundation, is dubbed “Two Rings for O.J.” Brigance is the only player to win an NFL Super Bowl (in 2000 with the Baltimore Ravens) and a CFL Grey Cup (in 1995 with the Baltimore Stallions) championships in the same city.

In 2007, Brigance was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a motor neurone disease and is determined to win his fight against the disease. He started the Brigance Brigade to raise awareness towards finding a cure against this debilitating illness better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Brigance, now the Ravens’ director of player development, was recently profiled by the Baltimore Sun’s Kevin Cowherd. Cowherd noted Brigance is “still inspiring the team with his quiet courage in the face of a horrible disease,” and Ravens players “still draw strength from him.” [Read more…]

Franchise Tag: BC Lions Setting the Standard for CFL Teams in the Community

BC Lions

In Vancouver, Greg Douglas noted that at a national sports conference in Toronto on Tuesday, CFL VP George Chayka “spoke about the value of networking within the local community” and league Commissioner Mark Cohon acknowledged that “no team in the league does it better than” the BC Lions (Greg Douglas, Vancouver Sun, 11/15).

Read the entire article from the Vancouver Sun

Franchise Tag: The BC Lions have several community programs:

  • Lions in the House: This program engages youth and encourages positive skill development to benefit students and their schools. Players visited schools for interactive assemblies with physical activity and motivational speeches on fitness and nutrition, bullying, continuing education, and maintaining a positive attitude. This year, the team visited 20 secondary schools schools speaking to over 10,000 students in grades 8-12. In 2008, the team started a Jr. Lions in the House program that focuses on the topics of nutrition, physical fitness, and developing a positive attitude and is geared towards students in grades 4-7. In 2008, the team visited 32 elementary schools speaking to over 6,400 students as part of this new initiative.
  • Read, Write and Roar: The program began in 2002 in partnership with Literacy BC, the Vancouver Public Library, the Vancouver School Board and participating elementary schools. The program has grown over the years and now reaches 15 school districts and over 25,000 elementary school students, stressing the importance of literacy through a fun and captivating journal.
  • Every Yard Counts: In partnership with the BC Children’s Hospital for this program provides an opportunity for children to attend a BC Lions home game. Not only do the children get to experience the excitement and emotion of a CFL game, they also have the opportunity to meet some of the players.
  • Courage for Kids Program: In an effort with United Way of the Lower Mainland, over 6,000 children had the opportunity to attend a BC Lions home game this season.

In addition to community programs, the BC Lions are also involved in other community-based programs, such as Grassroots Football and Lions Share (BC Lions).