May 14, 2012 marked a very special day for the Chris Canty Foundation (CCF). The first annual Champions Golf Classic to benefit this foundation took place at the prestigious Manhattan Woods Golf Club in West Nyack, New York. The rolling hills of the course provided a beautiful backdrop for this charity event, and, I have to say, Mother Nature didn’t completely misbehave.
Chris Canty, defensive tackle for the New York Giants, has developed a foundation that is dedicated to the youth of the community. They work with children from vast backgrounds on three major platforms‐ achieving excellence in education, athletics, and volunteerism.
Joseph Canty, brother of Chris Canty, also president and chairman of the foundation, was a major orchestrator in this event, yet he still managed to take a few minutes out of his chaotic day to give me some firsthand information about CCF and their amazing growth in the past few years.
I had mentioned to Joseph that I noticed this foundation is not like most other charities where they raise money for research for a disease or for a particular person who faced a tragedy. I asked him where the premise came from to start this foundation for the youth of our country.
“We have worked hard over the last five years really trying to pinpoint who we were,” said Joseph. “We have been a non‐profit for all intents and purposes since 2007, but we just received our 501 c‐3 status almost two years ago now, and we had to figure out who we were. We started out as a youth football camp, naturally, we’re a family of athletes, me and my siblings played college sports, but we also excelled academically as well. And because of that, we always had an affinity for community service. So I just mentioned our three pillars, education, fitness, and service. It’s what our parents raised us on. It’s who we are as a family, and it’s what many parents teach their kids.”
Chris had the same underlying ideas about his foundation but he added…
“I have a passion for working with kids, and obviously I believe that the platform that I have been blessed with in sports and athletics translates well to influencing them in a positive direction. I play, and we are on television, I get the chance to be a role model for kids, so it’s really awesome to be able to give back to them, it’s really an honor and a privilege.”
As a foundation, Chris and his family are very committed to making sure they see success within the participating kids, they remain in contact to see that their approach to positively influencing the three main platforms is always on a steady incline.
While cruising the hills of Manhattan Woods Golf Club, periods of drizzle threatened the golf game success of many. Simeon Rice, defensive end who retired in 2009, playing during his career for Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Bucs (five seasons with this team, the longest with one team in his career), Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts and the New York Sentinels, was not taking the misty air an excuse.
Rice said, “I mean it’s really cool, education, youth, the future, and to be able to stand by it. And for myself it was just sponsoring, because, I don’t golf. This is my first time golfing, I never golfed in my life! I just came in support of Chris and what he’s doing with his foundation. So for me that was really important. Anytime you can give back, it’s a situation of a call of duty.”
I wasn’t able to watch Rice play for long. However, the drive I saw at hole 5 was not so bad! Maybe he will have a new hobby out of his support for the CCF.
Chris had mentioned earlier in the day that golf is a hobby of his, and this was why he had chosen an adult day out on the course as a his charity event. Unfortunately, Chris did not play the charity round with his fellow teammates. He is currently in rehab from knee surgery that took place at the end of the 2011‐2012 season. “The rehab is going really well. I’m looking forward to being ready to go; obviously it’s a lot of work for me. But the doctors feel good about the progress,” he added.
Canty did say that Terrell Thomas, Giants defensive back, was probably one of the better golfers out of all the guys. Thomas’s chuckling response, “That’s a lie! LT is! That’s a total lie! Its hard for me, I got a two year old so I can’t get out as much, but I’m chopping away slowly!”
“It means a lot. When any athlete gives back to his community or is making strides to, I think that’s big. We are so blessed as individuals to be in the position that we are, so I think that every athlete should be able to give back, and anyone that’s doing it, I’m always here to support,” Thomas added about his participation in the CCF charity event.
Chase Blackburn, linebacker for the NY Giants, had mentioned his childhood when asked about what his time donation to CCF means.
“I never really had the opportunity to meet professional athletes, so I always wanted to do that when I was a kid, and never got the opportunity, so now that I have the opportunity to give back to see a little kid out there, and put my face out there, I try to brighten someone’s day.”
Chris had amazing support from his teammates and people in the community who love playing golf, and donating to a great cause. They raised money, portrayed the goal of the foundation to many people, hoping to build awareness of the CCF in the community.
Check out his organization at chriscantyfoundation.org.