Hunt said it was important to give something back to the fans as he ushers in a new era as head of this franchise. He's clearly following in the footsteps of the late Lamar Hunt by carrying on a tradition spanning nearly five decades – giving to those less fortunate.
As practice began nearly 1,000 Chiefs fans walked around the Arrowhead field, getting a first-hand glimpse of their favorite football players. Hunt greeted each and every one of the yellow-shirted fans.
The crowd had their own tailgate party prior to the start of the practice. They gathered in the parking lot south of the Chiefs Pavilion as tens of thousands of fans do on game days. They took up the entire parking lot and it was clear they were enjoying their special day.
Hunt, Head Coach Herm Edwards, linebacker Donnie Edwards, safety Bernard Pollard and wide receiver Jeff Webb joined the crowd. It was their opportunity to talk with a group of people who have had to deal with personal struggles in life.
"It's an organization that we partnered back in 2004," said Hunt of his charity. "Ourselves and the Dolphins were the first two teams in the NFL to join. Since then we've been able to get about 29 professional and college teams that team up with Lift Up America. Basically what we've been able to do, with the help of our sponsors, is get people much needed products whether its foods, hearing aids, or glasses over the last three years."
Those things are all helpful, but the smiles on the faces of those both young and old were priceless on Saturday. More than likely none of them have been this close to the action.
"In the last couple of years we've developed this idea of getting these kids who have never had a chance to have a VIP experience, whether it be at a stadium or a movie experience," said Hunt. "They are really the stars of the day."
As a bonus the fans were able to get some exclusive autographs and Chiefs memorabilia.
The Lift Up America program is a first for an NFL franchise holding this event at an official mini-camp.
In other news, HBO Sports and NFL Films announced on Saturday that the NFL's Hard Knocks series will feature the Kansas City Chiefs. The five-week series will debut on HBO Wednesday, August 8 at 9:00 CST. The series will be produced by legendary documentary filmmaker Steve Sabol of NFL Flilms.
"Our cameras will be rolling from the time the players leave their families to the time the coach decides if they're ‘in' or ‘out," said Sabol in a press release. "Chiefs training camp in River Falls is a throwback to the old training camps in the 60's and 70's, and we look forward to taking fans behind the scenes of one of the great franchises in professional sports."
This will be the third such series for HBO Sports and NFL Films, who will use a staff of 24 for the Hard Knocks show. Previously they featured the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys.
Lift Up America - Clark Hunt's Charity
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