Bernie & Friends Reunite for Al Blades

University of Miami Hall of Fame quarterback Bernie Kosar participated in the Al Blades Memorial charity event Saturday at Lockhart Stadium. In his neverending pursuit to benefit a quality charity, Bernie spent his afternoon, along with his family, playing a UM alumni flag football game.

Some of the other greats to show were Melvin Bratton, Gerard Daphnis, Kenny Calhoun, Mike Stewart, Bennie Blades, Brian Blades, Bobby Harden, Donnel Bennett, Danny Stubbs, James Jackson, Ryan Collins and Edgar Benes. All were available for autograph signings for their fans both before and after the game.

True to form, Bernie's first series ended in a touchdown when the ball was passed, handed back to him, and he wound up running in for the team's first score. The end of the game found his team the winners 29-28 (thanks to a kick). Much of his time was spent chatting with the UM fans and promoting his new steakhouse in South Miami,

This event was attended by well over 500 fans who were all treated to autograph signings before and after the event. This was the first Al Blades Memorial charity event and looks to be well on its way to becoming an annual event.

Brief History:

The Blades Foundation has been an integral part of the South Florida Community since 1993, through participation in programs directed toward scholarship opportunities, youth sports & community improvement.

It was the goal of Al Blades to support the community around him, focusing his attention on the development of after school programs, youth sports, scholarship funds & community service projects.

On March 20, 2003 the Blades family received the heart stopping news their youngest son Alphonso "Al" Blades was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident. During his brief yet prominent life he was able to inspire and touch many lives. He will continue to be an inspiration to us all, through the Al Blades Memorial Scholarship Fund.

It is the goal of this Foundation to bring more to the community as they grow, helping develop after school programs, which teach youth leadership, integrity, teamwork, and discipline. They want to continue being a part of the community, which gives opportunities as well as experience to all participants.

Mission Statement:

As we "The Blades Foundation" feel we are an integral part of the community we unconditionally strive to continue as a leader, meeting the demands of our surrounding community.

The foundation supports community projects, promoting leadership, discipline, integrity, teamwork, sportsmanship and self-improvement.

The foundation will continue to be innovative in presenting the community with opportunity for youth & young adults to find their path and raise to the level competition present both on and off the field.

As a pillar of the community, the Blades Foundation will provide support, respect, guidance and a positive environment for sport and academics to thrive. Actively bringing the community essence, to the youth & young adults residing in South Florida.

Player Quotes:

"One of the things that makes the University of Miami special is the family atmosphere. It doesn't even seem like 20 years have passed since I played there because we consider each other family. When one of us hurts we all hurt."

- Bernie Kosar

"Creating this fund is like keeping his name alive because he loved that school so much."

- Bennie Blades

"We don't see each other every day but when we get together it's like we are back in that locker room all those years ago."

- Melvin Bratton

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