TYLER, Texas — The Salvation Army held their annual Hearts Behind the Shield fundraiser Tuesday night in Tyler.
Attendees purchased tickets for entrance to the event and receive a dinner, entertainment and the opportunity to participate in a silent and live auction.
"Everything raised tonight will go help the services of the salvation army that we provide 365 days of the year," explained Salvation Army Captain Nicole Parker, "Right now we’re serving over 13,000 meals every month out of the salvation army center of hope and so the demand for our services is rising and the demand for income as well.”
The auctions had quite a lineup of items available for bidding, including multiple signed cowboys jerseys, a signed Peyton Manning jersey, a signed poster of Patrick Mahomes and a signed Earl Campbell football and jersey.
Salvation Army board member Jim Teeter said Campbell, who is a personal friend, donated the football and jersey because of a personal connection to the Salvation Army.
“It’s funny he calls me by my last name," Teeter said, "‘Teeter, you gotta remember, when I was growing up my mother used to buy my clothes from the Salvation Army.' So, I think it’s special, I think it’s from the heart, and I think it lets us remember that we’re a serving community, and the salvation army does fantastic things."
The fundraiser supports Salvation Army programs such as their “Reconnect” for addiction recovery.
Fredrick Wofford is a graduate of this program, and wanted to give back during the fundraiser as a volunteer.
“They helped me so much so I decided to give back a little bit," said Wofford. "As much as I can, any time they need me, I help them out,” said Wofford.
The fundraising goal for this year’s Hearts Behind the Shield event was $45,000, and having items from athletes like Campbell are certainly advantageous in the pursuit of that target.