News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Sports

May 4, 2012

TILL IT'S OVER: Super Bowl champ Weatherford enjoying humanitarian role

TERRE HAUTE — When the spotlight shines upon them, some celebrities take that opportunity to give back.

Terre Haute’s Steve Weatherford — ahem, Super Bowl champion Steve Weatherford — has certainly been busy doing so.

Last month, Weatherford traveled to Ghana to help lay down the foundation for a school.

Then last weekend, he was the leading man of the inaugural Rush the Punter 5K. The event benefits the United Way program Success by Six, which helps young children to get a head start on reading and other skills.

Weatherford’s philanthropy began when he decided to collect cleats from NFL players to provide for high school football players in Vigo County.

What makes Weatherford want to give back to his community and to a village in Africa?

“It was a no-brainer decision for me to use my celebrity status as a newly-crowned teammate on a Super Bowl champion team. It’s a lot easier to get people on board when you’re a Super Bowl champion. I just try to capitalize on that and give back,” Weatherford said.

The trip to Ghana was unforgettable, he explained recently.

“It was a lot of hard work, really hot and humid. tough conditions. For me to go there and spend six days there, you have a lot of appreciation for the luxuries we’re blessed with in America and for the relationships I’ve gotten to be a part of in the last seven years in the NFL,” Weatherford said.

Weatherford’s life has gone from Terre Haute North multi-sport standout to University of Illinois punter to some bouncing around the NFL.

Weatherford made his presence known in the league with the New York Jets, but still switched to the New York Giants with a one-year deal for the 2011-12 season.

The Giants gave him a five-year contract after his clutch kicking — and holding for the placekicker — in the Super Bowl.

“From going to signing a 1-year contract, to winning a Super Bowl, to setting statistical records, to ultimately signing a 5-year multi-million dollar extension, it was just easy and the right thing to do at this time in my life. To give back a small percentage,” Weatherford said. “I probably got more out of it than the kids did. Sure, they have a clean water system and a school, but emotionally and spiritually, the things I got from those kids will last me a lifetime.”

While it was poor, the country of Ghana, particularly the quality of the people, was impressive, even inspirational to Weatherford.

“Beautiful country, you’d be so taken back,” Weatherford said. “You’d think a country so poor, I associated the cities with rougher cities, like Newark, N.J., low income high crime area, there’s a lot of muggings and drugs. I didn’t see any of that. Nobody was drinking, everyone was so busy helping each other. Even if you weren’t related. everybody was helping someone do something. Everyone was busy. It made us want to help even more because they were trying to help themselves.”

So a memorable year for his own career became even more rewarding.

“I’m not going to win the Super Bowl every year, but I’m always going to have won one, but next year if we don’t win the Super Bowl, I’ll still be trying to help some group,” Weatherford said.

Weatherford is hoping to return to Terre Haute again soon after receiving his Super Bowl ring on May 16 in New York.

“I’m trying to plan something for when I get my ring to come back and show everybody. I’m sure my dad’s going to want to see it,” Weatherford said.

Craig Pearson can be reached by e-mail at craig.pearson@tribstar.com or by phone after 3 p.m. at (812) 231-4356. Follow him on twitter @TribStarCraig.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Truebytower.jpg

Soccer team visits the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

Local Interest
High School
College
Truebytower.jpg

Soccer team visits the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

Sports Columns
SPT072114sprints crowd.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Records: Near perfect weather contributed to record attendance at racetracks around the state, including the Action Track, seen here.

Pro Sports
Terre Haute Rex
Colts
SPT 010414 LUCK LOOK.jpg

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Improving: Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck looks for an open receiver during the Colts' win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 4 in Indianapolis.

Auto Racing
AP Auto Racing News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News