When Chad Pennington was drafted by the New York Jets in 2000, he may have left Marshall, but Pennington has never really left the tri-state area. In 2003, Pennington and his wife Robin established the “1st and 10 Foundation” and ever since have been supporting the region that has long supported them.
“This means everything to my wife and me. None of us are here because we’ve done it by ourselves,” says Pennington.
Saturday, Pennington will host his 7th Annual Celebrity Bowling Tournament in Huntington to raise money for his foundation. Over the past six years, the event has raised more than $875,000 dollars for the tri-state area and this event will push the fundraising over the $1,000,000 mark.
“Every dollar of their hard earned money has gone right back into the community where they live,” Pennington says proudly. “Our mission is to improve the quality of life in the tri-state area.”
The foundation awards grants on a yearly basis. This past year it distributed over $100,000 to organizations such as Child Protect Mercer County, Big Creek People in Action and Safe Harbor of Northeast Kentucky. The funding allowed the organizations to take on projects to put up fences on playgrounds, work on homes in poor and dilapidated areas and provide nutritional foods for families in need.
This year’s list of celebrities for this year’s bowling tournament includes former Marshall standouts Byron Leftwich, Ahmad Bradshaw and Doug Legursky. Pennington is also bringing along former NFL quarterback Dante Culpepper and several Miami Dolphin teammates. Pennington always participates in the tournament as well but due to his injured knee and shoulder had to get the blessing of his physical therapist.
“I’ll be okay to do it. I may not have a conventional form, but I’ll figure out a way to get the ball down the lane,” jokes Pennington.
You can learn more about the 1st and 10 Foundation and how to contribute at its website or at the 1st and 10 Facebook page.