On May 4th, the community of Greensburg, Kansas was devastated by the effects of an EF5 tornado. This tragedy took a harsh toll on the Greensburg Rangers High School football team. They arrived at their field after the disaster struck to find they had lost everything; their field, equipment, and school. Distraught, their focus shifted away from the game of football and instead they set their sights on rebuilding an entire community.
In tribute to Greensburg’s never say die spirit, the Kansas City Chiefs commissioned special hats this year which they wore during training camp as a show of solidarity. On the front of the hat is the Greensburg “G” with the words “Greensburg Rangers” and on the back is the Chiefs logo.
However, the team didn’t stop there. In the combined efforts of players, coaches, and the organization, the Chiefs are making significant contributions totaling over $50,000 to date in hopes of building the program back up from scratch. Using these monies, the Chiefs will supply Greensburg’s football team with pads, helmets, jerseys, game uniforms, and other equipment that is essential to play and practice the game.
“This organization as well as the National Football League has taken a great step as far as trying to help the devastation in Greensburg,” Head Coach Herm Edwards noted during training camp. “Our organization is wearing the hats here at camp and the players are contributing to Greensburg’s athletic fund as is this organization and the Hunt Family. They’re part of the heartland, part of the Chiefs. We have fans in Greensburg and whatever we can do to help them is a priority.”
As word spread of the community’s plight and the Chiefs simple gesture, fans from throughout the NFL began to inquire about donning these special Greensburg Rangers caps for themselves. To answer that craving, the organization has found a new way to support the close-knit, rural Kansas community.
The Chiefs have announced that they will make these hats available to the general public for $20.00 with total net proceeds going directly to the Greensburg High School Athletic Department. Available through two venues, you can purchase your very own Greensburg hat via www.kcchiefs.com or at Arrowhead Stadium during the team’s preseason tilt against the New Orleans Saints on August 23rd.
In fact, the Greensburg Rangers themselves will be in attendance at the preseason home finale. The Chiefs will be providing the team an all-inclusive trip to Kansas City. The day will consist of travel, accommodations and meals, a practice session at the Derrick Thomas Academy, and a special meet and great with the Chiefs players after the game. The Rangers will also get the royal treatment at that night’s game complete with an NFL-style police escort of their bus into the Truman Sports Complex for a VIP tailgate meal. This red-carpet experience will include a tour of the field during pre-game warm-ups as they are introduced to the Arrowhead faithful before they stand on the Chiefs sideline for the National Anthem.
The hat sales and VIP trip to Arrowhead Stadium continues the team’s efforts in support of youth football. Another is via Play Football Month. This recognition is a celebration held by USA Football in conjunction with the NFL and NFL Players Association. This fall marks the fourth year of Play Football Month and 2007 is shaping up to be the best year yet. Play Football runs from June through September and includes a youth football registration drive, safety awareness education and kick off celebrations with NFL teams. For more information, visit www.usafootball.com.