Words of wisdom from football great Joe Theismann wows YMCA crowd

Joe Theismann got a standing ovation the minute he stepped on the stage. The NFL football great lent his humor and life lessons learned to help south county YMCAs raise $287,785. “We all want that pat on the back. That’s what the Y does,” Theismann said at the YMCA of South Palm Beach County Inspiration Breakfast. The 18th annual fundraiser drew a large crowd before Wednesday’s workday in Office Depot headquarters in Boca.

As a winning Washington Redskin quarterback, “I became an ego out of control. Everything revolved around me,” Theismann said. “But my world was about to change more than I could imagine.”  He described his 1985 career-ending injury after a sack by linebacker Lawrence Taylor. “We’ll always be connected. We’ve played golf. But he has to be in my vision at all times,” he said to laughter.

“No matter how great we are, it can end in an instance,” he said, quoting Taylor. Theismann used that message to inspire personal growth and stress what the Y does for kids. Earlier he did selfies and signed footballs to encourage donations to support youth development programs. “Don’t stop giving,” he told the audience.

“Some 70,000 individuals come through our doors,” Price said to open the fundraiser.  “We are here to raise money for the financial assistance funds” for the Peter Blum and Devos-Blum Family YMCAs respectively.

Event chair Alex Price received his own Theismann autographed football.

YMCA preschoolers conducted the pledge of allegiance and seventh-grader Christopher Mugavero sang the National Anthem. Jason Aube, county market president, explained the merger of BB&T and SunTrust banks renamed Truist, the presenting sponsor.

YMCA president and CEO Jason Hagensick introduced the current chief volunteer officer Robert Robes, a Wells Fargo -The Private Bank senior v.p.

Boca Raton Community Church pastor Bill Mitchell conducted the opening prayer and former event chair Yvonne Boice delivered the benediction. YMCA development director Kimberly Trombly-Burmeister emceed and got kudos and flowers for putting the event together.

Here’s a video of Joe Theismann being interviewed by ESPN’s Brian Rowitz: IMG_9331

By Marci Shatzman

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