As the Thanksgiving Day deadline approaches to buy raffle tickets for Je’Rod Cherry’s 2001 Super Bowl Ring, funds raised are totaling more than $100,000. Je’Rod was at Momentum, the annual Grace Brethren youth conference, when students and staff were challenged to give sacrificially to help feed starving children. He felt moved to sell his ring, one of three he received while playing for the New England Patriots, with the proceeds to go toward Asia’s Hope, Feed My Starving Children, and other charities in the Boston area, where he played, and in northern Ohio, where he now lives.
The story below, appeared in today’s San Jose Mercury News.
See more about Je’Rod’s story at FGBC World.
Cal alum tackles world hunger
By John Ryan
In the unofficial Big Game alumni salute, we have a runaway winner.
Je’Rod Cherry, the former Cal safety from Berkeley High who spent nine years in the NFL, is holding an online raffle. The prize: the Super Bowl ring he won as a member of the 2001 New England Patriots. The cost to you: $2 per ticket, minimum of five tickets.
The goal: end world hunger. All proceeds will go toward helping the charity Asia’s Hope build an orphanage. Whatever is left will be spent, internationally and in the United States, on similar projects.
“The ring itself is the first one I won, it’s the most precious one to me, it’s the one I care most about,” Cherry said by phone Wednesday from his home in Macedonia, Ohio. “It was definitely hard. The night I made the announcement, I was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I just did that.’
“That ring will do so much to give kids around our country and the world to give kids a chance.”
The night he made the announcement in June, Cherry — now a 35-year-old financial advisor for Merrill Lynch — was at the Momentum Youth Conference, a religious convention aimed at teens. The kids had raised about $80,000 and were $20,000 short of their goal. One of the conference organizers challenged Cherry to put his ring toward the cause.
Cherry had just seen a presentation on hunger.
“The whole premise of the conference was what can you do to help others beyond your immediate family,” Cherry said. “In the course of the night we saw some pictures of a child that was basically bent over in the process of dying, while a vulture was waiting in the background for him to die so he could eat him.”
At the conference (the video is posted at www.buildmomentum.org), Cherry recalled his childhood, always knowing what he didn’t have and feeling less worthy because of it. Now he and his wife, Samua, provide for four children.
And, with your help, many others.
Cherry said he has raised $107,000 so far. The entry deadline is 6 a.m. Nov. 27 — Thanksgiving Day — with the drawing later that day. Buy tickets at www.celebritiesforcharity.org.