We put a last minute note up on the message boards last night [one of our fans emailed me about the story] but a lot of you might have missed it. Fortunately, Termy was watching and posted this on the Ryan Board today...
Sure, I'll give it a shot. [Ron] Burton was raised by his grandmother in Ohio. He was incredibly poor growing up. In fact, his community got together to hold a Ron Burton day just before he left for college, so that he could have some luggage and decent clothes while he attended NU.
At NU, Ron soared. He was an All-American and a Heisman Trophy finalist. He apparently was the first player ever drafted by the Boston (now New England Patriots). After a long career, Burton retired from football but became wealthy as a corporate executive. His kids all attended NU, some of them playing football.
Ron's dream was to take a patch of Massachusetts forest and turn it into a camp for underprivileged inner-city kids. In addition to sports, the kids receive academic instruction and religious instruction. When Ron was planning the camp his banker and his other financial advisors were very upset with him - they pleaded with him not to spend so much of his money on the camp, and the banker did not want to loan him money for such a purpose.
But the camp is there and changing lives for the better, as Ron's has become more difficult - four years ago he was diagnosed with bone cancer and given one to three years to live. He's battled it for four, but it's taken a toll on him - he spends a lot of time nowadays in the hospital, has lost a lot of weight and endures a lot of pain. Financially, he's personally not nearly as wealthy as he'd be without that camp. But he feels that he's stronger and richer for having it.
Ron's a very straight arrow. He's never taken a drink, a smoke, or sworn. He ran seven miles every day and hit the books hard. His camp asks the kids to try to do the same. A lot of those kids hit the honor roll, and stay there. NU's Academic advising center was recently named for Burton. Ron and his sons, several of whom appeared in the ESPN story, could not possibly give a better account of themselves.
From his hometown paper
The Ron Burton Academic center
Great job Steve - I couldn't do any better, or add anything - da coach
directly to Coach Roy
|Go Cats Beat 'em All|
about it on
the Purple Boards
|All Items Copyright 2003 by PurpleWildcats/Purple Reign|