140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jr. Patriot breaks fundraising records

Penning raises about $20K for Shriners

Jr. Patriot Brady Penning, 13, broke fundraising records for the Youth Shrine Bowl. Penning, playing for the West all-star team in the California Youth Shrine Bowl on Saturday, is also slated for a tour of the college East-West Shrine Bowl in January. (Geoff Johnson/Democrat)
Honesty. Responsibility. Respect.Youth football fans might argue the sport already instills these qualities in its players.
Thirteen-year-old Jr. Patriot Brady Penning, scheduled to appear on Good Day Sacramento sometime between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. today, said it did for him -- thanks to the Shriners Hospital for Children.
Penning broke records for funding in the Youth Shrine Bowl championship, where players are required to raise funds for the Shriners before they can participate.
He blew past the minimum requirements but the knowledge fellow players were working toward the same cause egged him on.
"I honestly thought I didn't have enough money," he said.
The eighth-grader is one of more than 40 players chosen for the West team in an all-star game with participants from as far as Colfax and El Dorado.
When cheerleaders are counted, more than a dozen students were chosen from the Woodland's Pioneer Jr. Patriots and the Woodland's Jr. Wolves -- including Devan Zuniga, Brandon Medina, Jesus Cardenas Jr., Daniel Letamendi, Jeffrey Lomeli, Isaac Coronado, Erin Alvarez, Alyssa Garcia, Alyssa Garza, Heleigh Kliewer, McKenna Ney and Ally Peart.
On Saturday, Penning and his fellow Woodland students will have a shot to qualify for the California vs. Florida Youth Shrine Bowl in Orlando when California's teams meet at Rio Linda High School.
But in terms of fundraising, Penning's effort stands alone.
At about $20,000 -- 94 tickets sold and
Quantcast 13 pages of ads -- Penning roughly doubled the all-time record.
Just 48 tickets and less than a page would have met the game requirements.
But as Penning took his proposal to Woodland residents, he remembered what he learned when he signed up.
Before he was given two weeks to raise funds, Penning and his fellow players watched a video example of where the funding goes -- the story of a footless Russian girl who Shriners helped walk.
Up against dozens of other fundraising players, Penning stepped up his game.
Through his rice-farming father, John, he reached out to the business community. Through his mother, Joan, he reached out to Vice Mayor Skip Davies and Mayor Art Pimentel. And by e-mailing and printing letters, he smashed the existing records.
Together, with an unannounced fellow fundraiser, he is scheduled for a full tour of the all-star college East-West Shrine Game in January.
"To watch college football on TV?," he said. "That's one thing. But to meet them? I mean, they're basically future NFL football players."
If he keeps it up, he and his all-star teammates may be, too.

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