When it comes to giving back to his community, former CU alum, All-American offensive lineman and current Dallas Cowboy Andre Gurode gets creative. As founder of the Center of Attention Foundation, which funds organizations that provide a safe environment for underprivileged children, Gurode is hosting a celebrity-filled fundraising weekend centered around a classic childhood sport: kickball.
“Dre,” who graduated from CU in 2001 and is now a center for the Cowboys with four Pro Bowls under his belt, could easily claim to have no time for community service. Still, he knows how much influence he has as an NFL player and how big of a difference he can make through a foundation with his name attached to it. In addition to COA, Gurode is involved in breast cancer awareness initiatives, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas, and Lowbow Athletics, “a youth foundation inspired to give young men a better education by playing basketball” (dallascowboys.com). Even with a tough and time-consuming pro football career, Dre spends what little free time he has helping people less fortunate than himself.
The kickball tournament, chosen because of its childhood appeal, is scheduled from June 4-6 at The Sportsplex at Valleyview in Dallas. Members of the competing teams will include Cowboy teammates Martellus Bennett, Bradie James, and Patrick Crayton, along with several other NFL players and celebrities. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and can be purchased at: https://the-center-of-attention-foundation.ticketleap.com/buy-tickets/sports-fundraiser/andre-gurodes-celebrity-kickball-game/dallas/D2A0F07F-B89F-45FF-84E6-A6A47D7E0DC. Besides the tournament, the weekend will also include a black-tie gala, Sunday brunch, and “Kid Zone Fun Day,” in which children will get to meet, get autographs from, and play games with celebrities.
The Center of Attention Foundation concentrated on helping children in foster care this past year, and soon it will be switching its focus to children with asthma. Why “Center of Attention?” Says Gurode, “Because the children are the center of our world.”