By Cody Soto
No. 10 Baylor football raised $6,146 through its inaugural Touchdown Pledge Drive with its Uplifting Athletes chapter to raise money for cerebral palsy research on Saturday. The touchdown pledge was the team’s second fundraising event for cerebral palsy in 2014.
The team raised money through donations and pledges per touchdown after rallying for seven touchdowns in the Bears’ 60-14 win over Kansas on Saturday.
Chapter president and senior receiver Levi Norwood said the team was happy with the turnout of the team’s second event.
“The amount of money we raised was huge, and it was double what we raised from our first fundraiser,” Norwood said. “We’ve raised almost $10,000 for cerebral palsy research this year, so it’s a blessing to be able to do that.”
In their first event, the Bears raised over $3,000 for cerebral palsy research during their inaugural Lift for Life event in July.
The event was very memorable for Midway High School student Jacoby Burks and his family. Burks, who suffers from cerebral palsy, watched the game from the stands and saw the Bears turn touchdowns into research money.
Jacoby’s mother Latricia Burks said the touchdown pledge drive meant a lot to her family.
“It was a great day. Jacoby had a blast and you could see the excitement in his eyes,” Burks said. “I’m overjoyed that there are people out there who care so much about kids with cerebral palsy. I want to thank Levi [Norwood] and the team for all the effort they put into this event.”
The game was also memorable for Norwood, who scored his first touchdown of the 2014 season: a 10-yard grab from senior quarterback Bryce Petty in the third quarter.
“It was a relief because it’s been awhile since I’ve scored. Scoring and being able to raise money with it was awesome,” Norwood said.
Petty said that this touchdown pledge drive added motivation to the team’s success on the field Saturday afternoon.
“Any time you can add motive to what you’re doing that’s bigger than you, it adds a lot more emphasis to what you’re doing and how you’re doing it,” Petty said. “It’s great that we can be a part of that, raise awareness and score touchdowns too.”
Norwood said the look on Jacoby Burks’s face after the game said it all.
“It’s amazing that we’re able to have an impact like this as a team,” Norwood said. “We can show people who have cerebral palsy that there are people that are supporting them.”
After seeing the success of this event, Norwood and the Bears are ready for another opportunity to raise research money for cerebral palsy. When it does happen, they will call upon fellow Baylor Bears for their help.
The opportunity for the Bears to work with the community for a greater cause says something about Baylor Nation, Norwood said.
“It’s great that the Baylor community is rallying around what our team is doing,” Norwood said. “It’s a big deal because we are more than just football players, we are a part of the community. It’s not just a football event, it was motivation for us to get in the end zone and score touchdowns.”