NFL: Saints’ Vilma Meets with UN to Discuss Relief for his Native Haiti; Pennington Hosts First Event

Jonathan Vilma

Saints LB Jonathan Vilma and retired greats Freeman McNeil and Adam Dispirito met with UN leaders recently to discuss relief in Haiti. Also, Chad Pennington hosting his foundation’s first “Share Our Soles” event and former Jaguar Richard Collier is bringing his message to Jacksonville’s Justice Coalition. The 49ers cheerleaders put a good spin on the mission to end childhood obesity.

Jonathan Vilma: New Orleans Saints LB Jonathan Vilma visited the United Nations headquarters on March 27 to push for funding of hurricane proof housing in his native Haiti. Vilma, as well retired NFL stars Freeman McNeil and Adam Dispirito, met with dignitaries and humanitarians in an effort to ease the fears of people in hurricane affected areas so that they have a safer home when a natural disaster hits.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Vilma became an advocate for more affordable hurricane proof housing for the people of New Orleans as well as Haiti. He is pushing to inform others about the cost effective, readily available, hurricane proof materials created by companies that have been around for years (Jonathan Vilma :: The Official Website).

Chad Pennington: Miami Dolphins QB Chad Pennington 1st and 10 Foundation “will host its first ‘Share Our Soles’ event” at a Miami-area Dave & Busters. During the event, Pennington “will spend time with 75 children from the Miami Cooperative Feeding Program and provide them with new sneakers and backpacks” (Charleston Daily Mail, 3/26).

49ers: San Francisco 49ers cheerleaders Amber, Jackie, and Lauren and mascot Sourdough Sam lead nearly 40 participants on March 18 in an hour-long segment of Chain Reaction – a spinning challenge in support of HealthCorps and its mission to end childhood obesity. Funds raised during the three-day event will help with the expansion of HealthCorps programs into new cities, including San Francisco.

HealthCorps COO Merrill Richmond said,”The Gold Rush Cheerleaders and Sourdough Sam stopped passers-by in their tracks, helping to bring visibility to our objective of eradicating childhood obesity. As an added bonus, they really motivated the other riders, cheering them on and leading by example through their energetic and enthusiastic spinning. As a new organization in San Francisco, we were ecstatic to be able to partner with a Bay Area icon – the 49ers – to bring attention to our important cause” (San Francisco 49ers).

Richard Collier: Former Jacksonville Jaguars player Richard Collier will be speaking on behalf of the Justice Coalition at the 3rd annual John Rowan Memorial Golf Tournament on March 30. Collier, who “was shot 14 times, paralyzed from the waist down, and had part of a leg amputated” last year, will be speaking “from the perspective of crime victim.”

Rowan was last seen on February 23, 2001, leaving for work. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office “has classified his case as an unsolved murder” (Dave Wax,, 3/24).