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Enjoying SPARE time with Disney 2010 Families
During a recent visit to St. Louis, Kurt and Brenda with daughter Jada shared some fun and laughter as they tried their hand at bowling with Make-A-Wish and Dream Factory families from the 2010 We’re Going to Disney World! trip in June. The families and the Warners enjoyed catching up and reminiscing. Check facebook.com/kurt13warner for more photos from the afternoon.
See Kurt's Facebook page for more photos.
Homes for the Holidays Program Blesses Two Families for Christmas
Two families were rewarded for their hard work in achieving the dream of homeownership on Wednesday, December 22 with furnishings to turn their houses into homes. In Goodyear, Janel and her two sons worked with Neighborhood Housing Services of Southwestern Maricopa County to complete the steps necessary to purchase their first home and in New River, Heather and her son worked with Habitat for Humanity Desert Foothills to become first-time homeowners. On the closing day of their homes the unsuspecting single moms were surprised to find furniture, appliances, home décor items, cleaning supplies, food and more - gifts made possible by First Things First’s partnership with Aaron’s, U-Haul, R&S Mattress, Amway, Albertson’s and The Pedal Power Foundation.
Support First Things First by Donating your Unwanted Tix
Have you ever purchased tickets for a sports, theater or music event and later realized you couldn’t use them? Now you have a new, easy and beneficial option for those tickets! Tix4Cause.com is an innovative ticket exchange website where:
- Ticketholders turn their unwanted seats over to First Things First and qualify for a tax deduction.
- Ticket purchasers choose from these great seats, and receive reasonable pricing (tickets are offered at fair market prices).
- 100% of ticket proceeds are given to First Things First
Don’t let a single ticket go to waste, instead, place them for sale on Tix4Cause to benefit First Things First!
Kurt Honored with PeyBack Award
Kurt recently attended Peyton Manning’s 8th Annual PeyBack Bowl in Indy to accept the annual PeyBack Award, presented to someone currently or formerly involved in professional football who exhibits character, integrity, and honor; someone who has given back to the game and society. Kurt also joined a jam-packed list of celebrities from the sports world as a celebrity bowler for the event which raised over $420,000 for Manning’s PeyBack Foundation.
Kurt Trades Cleats for Dancing Shoes on TV’s Top Show
While he was never known for his quick steps on the gridiron, Kurt will try his hand at the Quickstep and other ballroom dances this fall on Dancing With The Stars! The Warners are excited about this unique opportunity to have fun, reach a whole new audience, and most importantly bring added attention and awareness for First Things First. Click here for full DWTS Season 11 line-up and check back frequently for the latest news from Kurt with a behind-the-scenes look at the show. Watch his dance floor debut in the season opener on Monday, September 20 on ABC and get ready to vote for Kurt!
8th Annual Ultimate Football Experience Scores Big
In what many of the participants would call the greatest 24 hours of their life, First Things First hosted 81 participants and their guests on the evening of Friday, March 11 and all day Saturday, March 12 for the 8th annual Ultimate Football Experience. Participants from Prosource, Priority Sports, Insight/CA/Lenovo, and Nutrilite along with individuals who purchased spots on teams played flag football with and against Steve Breaston, Matt Cassel, Larry Fitzgerald, Joe Flacco, Rich Gannon, Michael Irvin, Brad Johnson, Aaron Rodgers, Michael Strahan and Kurt Warner. Thanks to the generosity of everyone involved, over $200,000 was raised for First Things First!
Join the 1st annual "Kurt Warner's Bracket Hoop-la"
*Win a chance at some cool autographed stuff and support First Things First!*
Kurt Warner's Bracket Hoop-la" is an online college hoops bracket competition for the NCAA basketball tournament for the benefit of the Kurt Warner First Things Foundation. The winner will score an autographed Kurt Warner Super Bowl jersey, as well as a personal phone call from Kurt. Second and third place will receive a football autographed by Kurt Warner and a Super Bowl photo autographed by Kurt Warner, respectively.
To be part of this competition, simply make an online donation to the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation here. Your entire donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution and will support the outreach of First Things First.
FTF & Univ of Phoenix Continue to Score for Higher Ed in Cedar Rapids
First Things First and University of Phoenix recently awarded two individuals associated with Kurt’s childhood youth center in Cedar Rapids, Jane Boyd Community House, with scholarships to earn their bachelor’s degree. Kurt’s mom, Sue Warner, joined University of Phoenix reps to congratulate Jessica Frink and Eugene Harper on behalf of First Things First. Sue also presented Jessica and Eugene with new Macbooks and printers from FTF to help them in their studies.Click here for additional information.
With Gratitude to the Troops
Kurt recently took time to do a phone interview with the founder of Real Combat Life, a website providing an online forum for veterans to share their experiences and educate the public on what life is like in combat from a firsthand perspective.Click here to read the transcript of the interview covering 9/11, Brenda’s time in the Marines, Pat Tillman, and a message from Kurt to the troops.
FTF Donates $100K to Habitat to Build Hope in Cedar Rapids
As the Cedar Valley continues to rebuild from the Flood of 2008, Iowa natives Kurt and Brenda have not only challenged Cedar Rapids faith & corporate communities to commit to building homes with Habitat for Humanity, but they showed up with hammer in hand to physically do just that! Kurt and Brenda, along with some in the local Warner clan, helped raise the walls for one of 13 homes constructed as part of the second annual Americorps Habitat Blitz Build. First Things First gifted $100K to help with the completion of the final two homes, and are calling on area businesses and groups to match the gift for 2011 as part of the First Things First Home Team Challenge. Donations can be made to Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity by calling 319-366-4485. Special thanks to FTF teammate Aarons for the donation of 13 kitchen tables for each of the 2010 Habitat families!
First Things First creates magical memories with 10 special families
Ten families with a child in medical crisis joined Kurt, Brenda and their seven dwarfs for a wonderful week in Orlando recently as part of the ninth annual “We’re Going to Disney World!” trip. Each day was packed with adventure as the group of Make A Wish and Dream Factory families from Arizona, Iowa and Missouri enjoyed shows, rides, meals and lots of love, laughter, tears and hugs. Special thanks to Give Kids the World, Walt Disney World Resorts, and especially the Foundation For Those without a Voice who once again provided a generous $25,000 grant to underwrite the airfare.
Warner Family Urges Others to have “Ice Cream for Breakfast” for Great Org!
Kurt, Brenda and their seven children are the official spokesfamily for “Ice Cream for Breakfast,” a new initiative to raise funds and awareness for a whimsical resort for children with life threatening illnesses and their families in Central Florida called Give Kids the World. First Things First has been involved with Give Kids the World since its first “We’re Going to Disney World!” trip in 2002. Go to www.icecreamforbreakfast.org for more info and ideas on how you can get involved.
Kurt Voted Best Local Hero & Best Sports Figure in AZ Central Readers Choice Poll
AZ Central.com has announced its Best of 2010, this year's collection of critics' and readers' favorites in more than 250 categories of restaurants, bars, shops, services, kids favorites and more, and Kurt was voted the Best in 2 categories: Best Local Hero and Best Sports Figure. Readers' Choice winners were chosen during a three-month process. Readers were asked to nominate their top picks which were used to build a ballot from the most-nominated entries. Finally, azcentral.com users cast their votes.
Kurt Joins MDA's Muscle Team
Kurt is the newest member of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's "Make a Muscle, Make A Difference" campaign and flexed his muscle in ads for the charity that is dedicated to finding a cure for muscular dystrophy and ALS. Kurt joins Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron, country singer Wynonna Judd, Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney, and former Access Hollywood Host Nancy O'Dell among others in support of this great organization!
Aarons, U-Haul and FTF Surprise Single Mom with Homes for the Holidays
Carla and her 12-year old son Isaiah walked arm and arm through their new home in virtual silence. What they thought was a routine walk-thru with the staff of Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles, turned into the belated Mother’s Day surprise of a lifetime for this single mom and member of the National Guard. Each room in her 3-bedroom home was beautifully decorated thanks to Aaron’s, U-Haul, and First Things First! Rugs, lamps, couches, beds, dressers, linens, towels…even food in the pantry… it was all there! Carla and Isaiah are the 21st family blessed by the Homes for the Holidays program and the 10th in the greater St. Louis area.
Warners Lead Disability Awareness Program in AZ
Students of Desert Edge High School in Goodyear, AZ participated in the week-long CHEER (Consciousness Helps Encourage Equal Respect) program in early May. Each day student leaders “adopted” disabilities by wearing visual impairment goggles, using wheelchairs, losing the use of their dominant arms, wearing ear plugs or being non-verbal. The week ended with an assembly for the entire school hosted by the Warners to help create an atmosphere of inclusion and appreciation.
Costas, Vermeil and Warners Kick off Double Header at The Pageant
Laughter and good vibes filled The Pageant on the evening of April 22nd as Kurt and Brenda were joined by Bob Costas and Dick Vermeil for the 2nd Annual Night with Champions presented by Edward Jones. More than 600 people filled the eclectic venue in The Loop as they nibbled on menu samples from the likes of Gooey Louie, BARcelona, Oceano Bistro, Cardwell’s at the Plaza/BC’sKitchen, 1111 Mississippi/Vin de Set, Pappy’s Smokehouse, and Annie Gunn’s while they perused a silent auction brimming with sports memorabilia. The show featured an intimate Q&A format which was more conversation than interview led by the legendary Costas and concluded with lighthearted rapid fire questions from Brenda.
Rain Doesn’t Dampen Spirits on the Links
The double header fun continued on Friday morning at Norwood Hills Country Club for the Kurt Warner First Things First Golf Classic presented by Edward Jones. Despite the chilly temps and brief rain showers, golfers enjoyed the day including foursome photos with Kurt, Brenda and Dick Vermeil. Thanks to support from all the sponsors especially Edward Jones, Ralcorp, St. Louis Rams, and Fox 2/KPLR the Double Header events generated nearly $100,000 for First Things First!
AZ Rattlers Dedicate Home Opener to First Things First
On Friday, April 16th, the home opener of the AZ Rattlers game vs. the Chicago Rush at the US Airways Center is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for First Things First. The Rattlers owners have committed $20,000 personally and are asking fans to donate as they enter the arena or via website and phone for those watching on AZTV at home. All 17,000 tickets for the Arena Football game were offered free to the public by the Rattlers and their sponsors. Brenda and Kurt – the most decorated Arena Football alumni – will attend the game and participate in the broadcast promoting First Things First.
Double Header Event in St. Louis
Join Kurt and Brenda along with Special Guest Coach Dick Vermeil and Emcee Bob Costas at The Pageant on April 22 for a Night With Champions presented by Edward Jones. Prior to an on-stage walk down memory lane of the amazing 1999 Championship season, guests will enjoy food from St. Louis' most popular restaurants as well as a silent auction. On April 23, golfers will take to the links at Norwood Hills Country Club for the second annual First Things First Golf Classic. Sponsorships and foursomes are available. Tickets for Night With Champions go on sale on March 1st at ticketmaster.com or The Pageant Box Office.
FTF & University of Phoenix Give Gift of Higher Ed
Thanks to a partnership with the University of Phoenix, First Things First was able to bless a young man who Kurt & Brenda have known since First Things First’s inception in 2001 through work with Sunshine Ministries in downtown St. Louis. Ramon Mitchell is the latest recipient of the First Things First Scholarship Program, which rewards deserving individuals from pre-selected partner organizations with a scholarship to the University of Phoenix to earn their bachelor’s degree. In addition to the full-ride scholarship, First Things First also gave Ramon a Macbook complete with Microsoft Office to assist him with his homework. Ramon is the sixth University of Phoenix scholarship recipient and third from Sunshine Ministries, with his mother receiving a scholarship last year.
UFE Raises $275K with All-Star Cast
A sell-out twelve teams took to the fields at the Cardinals Training facility on March 6th for the annual Kurt Warner Ultimate Football Experience – a four-on-four flag football tourney pairing corporate teams with celebrity QBs. The Draft Party and Auction preceded the game action and set the tone for the event as teams competed for their place in the Draft to select from an all-star cast that included Anquan Boldin, Marshall Faulk, Larry Fitzgerald, Joe Flacco, Todd Heap, Chris Miller, Sean Morey, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Michael Strahan and Kurt Warner. Corporations sponsoring teams include Priority Sports & Entertainment, Insight/CA, Prosource, Wal-Mart - West Valley, Wal-Mart – East Valley, Wal-Mart – Phoenix, Insight/Lenovo/Procurve, Arizona Cardinals and University of Phoenix. Aaron Rodgers led a group of individuals called Team 13 to victory in the tournament which raised a record $275,000 for First Things First!
"Thanks for the Memories T-Shirts on sale
Kurt Warner will not only be remembered by football fans for playing a key role in the turnaround of two storied NFL franchises, but for being a class act and role model who inspires everyone around him. Fans can commemorate Kurt's improbable career with this special edition "Thanks for the Memories" t-shirt with all proceeds benefiting his First Things First Foundation.
Kurt Honored with Bart Starr Award
Kurt was presented with the 2010 Bart Starr Award, voted by his peers, for exhibiting outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community at the Super Bowl Breakfast in Fort Lauderdale,FL. In his acceptance speech, Kurt reiterated his hope to not be defined by only his football feats, “That’s been my goal, to use the 12 years, to use the platform of the NFL as a means to accomplishing and leaving a legacy that goes well beyond records, and touchdowns, and football awards.” The Bart Starr Award was presented by Starr himself at the breakfast of 1,100 attendees including notable figures such as Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz, former Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy, and Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick.
Kurt Announces Retirement
After 12 years in the NFL, two NFL MVP awards, five Pro Bowls, three Super Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl MVP, and countless records broken and lives touched, Cards QB Kurt Warner has decided to end his storybook career. The announcement was made during a press conference at the Cardinals training facility with Brenda, the Warners' seven children, Coach Whisenhunt, the Bidwills and several of Kurt's coaches and teammates in attendance.
The Ultimate Football Experience
Live the NFL experience as you play with and against current and retired NFL players at the Ultimate Football Experience in Phoenix on March 5 & 6, 2010. Eight-man teams quarterbacked by NFL players take to the fields at the Arizona Cardinals Training Facility for four-on-four flag football. Corporate teams and individual spots are available.
Click here for more information and to reserve your spot today!
Set Your DVR!
Football player, writer, motivational speaker…Kurt can add a new line to his resume – actor! On Monday, January 18 Kurt will make a guest appearance on the Disney XD’s hit show, Suite Life on Deck. Check your local listings for times.
Homes for the Holidays
Angela and her 8-year-old son Joshua were shocked to find their new home completely furnished thanks to the support of First Things First teammates: Aaron’s, U-Haul, R and S Mattress Liquidators, and Safeway. Angela, with support from Housing Our Communities, has been saving funds for the past nine years to purchase her first home. Angela and Joshua are the 20th family surprised by First Things First with Homes for the Holidays.
Thank You St. Louis!
Thank you St. Louis for your support of the ninth annual Warners' Warm-up Coat Drive. Coats are currently being consolidated, sorted and a total number collected should be available soon. Special thanks to Operation Food Search, A-Mrazek Moving Systems, Walgreens, FedEx Office, Custom Cuts, credit unions, local police stations, and Fox 2 /KPLR 11. The collected coats will be distributed to schools, homeless shelters and other social service agencies throughout the bi-state region. Coats may be donated directly to Operation Food Search from now until the new year. Monetary donations are also encouraged. $15 will purchase a new high-quality children’s coat. Go to the Get Involved page of this website to donate money now and designate it to Warners’ Warm-up.
Kurt Recognized by Peers
Kurt was recognized by his NFL peers as the best role model both on and off the field. Kurt received 18% of the vote with Peyton Manning earning 17% and Brian Dawkins 9%. The poll, including votes from 296 players, will appear in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated.
Click here to read more.
Night With Champions
The Wrigley Mansion played host to approximately 250 guests attending Night With Champions to benefit the building of a new Warner’s Corner at St. Joseph’s Hospital. The event provided guests with an opportunity to eat delicious food from Oregano’s, Rawhide, Frasher’s, Cold Stone Creamery, and Fairytale Brownies while bidding on a wide array of auction items. KTVK’s Tara Hitchcock and KTAR’s Ron Wolfley emceed the program which included a roast of Kurt by “John Madden” (a.k.a. Frank Caliendo), a message from Kurt on the Making of a Champion, and a question and answer session with Kurt, Coach Whisenhunt and Larry Fitzgerald. The event raised nearly $50,000 to assist in building the high tech recreation area for teen patients at St. Joe’s.
Kurt Earns Player of the Week Award
Kurt has been named the “NFC Offensive Player of the Week” for his performance in last Sunday’s 41-21 victory against the Chicago Bear where he matched his career-high with five touchdown passes in the 20-point victory. The TD total was one shy of the Cardinals franchise record and he became the first Cardinal QB to throw five in a game since Charley Johnson in 1969. Warner capped the game’s first four drives with TD passes and led the team to scores on each of the offense’s first six possessions. He became just the third Cardinals quarterback since 1965 and the first since Neil Lomax in 1983 to throw for four or more TDs in the first half of a game. Warner finished the game 22 of 32 passing for 261 yards with five touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 135.9.
Brenda Gives Legacy to Nonprofit for Kids with Special Needs
Using her developing talent in photography, Brenda recently created a giant mosaic living art piece at the main facility of Hacienda HealthCare (HHC), Arizona’s leading provider of a wide spectrum of health care services for individuals with special needs. The mosaic is a compilation of approximately eighty photographs Brenda personally shot of infants, children and young adults during her visits over the last several months. For the past year, Brenda and a team of women she recruited, have been making weekly visits to Hacienda to rock the babies.
Special Olympics Punt, Pass & Kick Clinic
Kurt and Brenda hosted 50 Special Olympic athletes at the Cardinals Training Facility for a morning of fun as the athletes learned the football basics. Ben Graham, Neil Rackers, Jason Wright, and Big Red also assisted with drills and an obstacle course complete with touchdown dance. All of the athletes enjoyed lunch courtesy of Jason’s Deli (Ray and the 101). Thanks to the generosity of the Cardinals, three athletes will display their punt, pass and kick skills on the field prior to watching the Cards take on the Panthers.
Thank You Phoenix!
Thank you to everyone who donated equipment and/or cash for the third annual America’s Team Ball Drive. Over $5,000 was collected from Cardinal’s fans entering University of Phoenix Stadium on November 1 and will be used to help pay for shipping the equipment collected at the stadium and Valley Wal-Mart stores. Special thanks to Packages from Home, Wal-Mart, the Arizona Cardinals, Horizon Moving Systems, U-Haul, Ben Franklin Press, Fox 10, Cox Communications, and KTAR for once again supporting this effort for the troops overseas!
Brenda Promotes Amazing Moms
Brenda recently joined forces with Aquafresh for a contest to reward Amazing moms in Phoenix. Children 6 years of age or older (with Dad’s help, if necessary) can nominate their mom by going to www.aquafresh.com/amazingmom and writing why their mom is special and amazing. Entries are accepted now through November 2, 2009. Only fifty moms will be selected as "most amazing". Winners will join Brenda for a day of relaxation on December 5 at Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort.
Kurt on List of America’s Most Liked Sports Figures
Forbes.com printed a list of the Top 10 most liked sports figures based on a survey conducted by E-Poll Market Research. Trustworthy was the term fans most frequently used to describe Kurt. He joined the likes of Shawn Johnson, Tim Duncan and teammate Larry Fitzgerald on the list.
Click here for a link to the full story.
Warner’s Corner Challenge Grant
First Things First is excited to announce plans for a Warner’s Corner recreation area for teenage patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. The vision for this high tech area for teens is a room filled with computers and equipment for movies, videogames, and music. FTF has received a $25,000 challenge grant opportunity which will be designated toward the cost of this new recreational area. Donors are needed to meet this challenge with the end goal of rewarding our community’s true champions! Visit the "Get Involved" page to make a donation and designate your funds to Warner’s Corner.
Kurt Dons Pink During Win Over Houston
Kurt joined the NFL to support October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Kurt, along with several players throughout the league, wore pink cleats, wristband, and captain’s patch as part of a collaboration of the NFL and the American Cancer Society called “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives” encouraging annual mammograms for women over 40. Fans can bid on some of Kurt’s pink game apparel at www.NFLAuction.NFL.com with proceeds benefitting ACS and Cardinals charities.
Warner’s Record-setting Day Preserved
The Pro Football Hall of
Fame’s registrar recently received a securely packed box from the Arizona Cardinals that contained the jersey worn by Kurt Warner and a ball he threw during a record-breaking performance versus the Jaguars on September 20. Warner set a new NFL record for single-game completion percentage during the Cardinals’ 31-17 win. He completed 24 of 26 passes for a 92.3% completion percentage that broke the previous mark held by Vinny Testaverde (91.3, 21 of 23) of the Cleveland Browns in 1993. The jersey is now the fourth one from Warner that’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s collection.
Click here for a link to the full story.