The Uvalde (TX) school massacre last May still is fresh on the minds of many NFL alumni.
We were conducting our annual Alumni Board and Chapter Presidents meeting that week in rural San Antonio just 50 miles east of Uvalde.
Raiders alumnus Vann McElroy (1982-90) attended high school in Uvalde and currently lives in that town of 15,000. He received a call from Raiders owner Mark Davis in the days after the school shooting asking what he could do to help ease the pain there. Davis later donated one million dollars to help install school cameras and make the schools’ doors stronger and more secure.
Uvalde had another visitor with Raiders ties visit the town three days after the killings. Bo Jackson, who wore the Silver & Black from 1987-90, flew to Uvalde and made a generous donation of $170,000 to help pay for the funerals of the 19 young students and two teachers who were killed in the school massacre. Jackson made the anonymous gift after meeting with Texas Governor Greg Abbott. It was only last week that Jackson was revealed as the donor.
“The true spirit of our nation is Americans lifting up one another in times of need and hardship,” says Governor Abbott. “In a truly selfless act, Bo covered all funeral expenses for the victims’ families so they would have one less thing to worry about as they grieved.”
Jackson is no stranger to Uvalde. He says he has either stopped or driven through the town many times over the years on his way farther west for hunting trips.
“Uvalde is a town that sticks in your mind,” Jackson told the AP last week. “Although I don’t really know a soul there, I have stopped for lunch In Uvalde or bought groceries quite often as I traveled to visit a friend in west Texas. I don’t know if it’s because I am getting older but I made this donation just trying to put a little sunshine in someone’s cloud, a very dark cloud. It’s just not right for parents to bury their kids. It’s just not right.”
We at NFL Alumni appreciate the generous financial contribution that the 1985 Heisman Trophy winner made in Texas. Many of you give back to your own communities across the country on a daily basis. It is what makes our alumni family so special, and we salute each and every one of you.