Caring for Kids: It’s Our Mission Beyond the Gridiron
The NFL Alumni is a charitable organization composed of former professional football players guided in their volunteer efforts by the mission statement “Caring for Kids,” and who are dedicated to work on behalf of youth and charity. The Northern California Chapter is based in Redwood City, California, and conducts events at its headquarters office and throughout the San Francisco Bay area.
NFL Alumni Annual Holiday Toy Drive
This year we are collecting toys, useful electronics, games and clothing for the children of our fallen and wounded Military Heroes. There will be special appearances by Former NFL players, Military Personnel and Gold Star Families on Saturday the 3rd, 10th & 17th in December. Please bring new items only. For more information please contact us!
Alumnus of the Month (December 2016 – Frank Nunley)
As 2016 draws to a close, we are excited to announce that this year’s final Alumnus of the Month is none other than middle linebacker Frank “Fudge Hammer” Nunley! Frank played college football at the University of Michigan from 1964 to 1966 and professional football for the San Francisco 49ers from 1967 to 1976.
Frank was born in Lexington, Alabama, in 1945, and attended Belleville High School in Belleville, Michigan. He was selected by the Associated Press as a first-team linebacker on its 1966 All-Big Ten Conference football team, and was inducted into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor in 1989. Nunley was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round (62nd overall pick) of the 1967 NFL Draft. He remained with the 49ers for 10 seasons from 1967 to 1976. Playing at the linebacker position, Nunley became a starter in 1969 and anchored the 49ers defense in the early 1970s that ran an innovative “flex” defense under Dick Nolan. He helped lead the 1970 and 1971 49ers teams to consecutive appearances in NFC Championship games.
As for his famous nickname, Frank owes it all to Stan Hindman, a defensive end who was a first-round pick of the 49ers in 1966, a year before Nunley joined the team. Frank had moved into the starting lineup a couple years into his career and solidified the middle linebacker position with his hard hitting. “I never had the best figure in the world, looking at it from a womanly point of view,” Nunley said. “I didn’t have the well-defined chest or anything like that.” After witnessing his style of play, Hindman began calling his teammate “Fudge Hammer,” because he looked like fudge and hit like a hammer. “It was fitting,” said one long-time fan of the 49ers. “Nunley didn’t look hard as nails like Chuck Bednarik, but he indeed made his presence felt to opposing runners.”
After his football playing days were over, Frank carved out a successful career as a manufacturer’s representative for electronics companies. A regular fixture at alumni golf tournaments, he’s a pleasure to be around. So please join us in celebrating the presence of Frank Nunley – we’re lucky to have him!
Thursday Night Tailgate Party a Big Success
Thanks to everyone who helped make our Thursday Night Tailgate Party on October 6, 2016 a big success!! A great crowd turned out to watch the 49ers take on the Arizona Cardinals, and their generous donations of canned goods and toys were collected to benefit the Veterans Hospital – Menlo Park, and the Ecumenical Hunger Fund – East Palo Alto!
Youth of America Week Football Clinic 2016
On August 27th The Northern California Chapter of the NFL Alumni partnered with Angel Tree Football Clinic and with the help of Redwood City hosted over 200 boys and girls at our Youth of America Week Football Clinic. The kids learned football basics at a free day-long clinic in Redwood City that was held on the former practice fields of the San Francisco 49ers. The Football Clinic reached at-risk youth aged 7 to 13 who were bused in from as far away as Sacramento, Fresno, and Salinas.
Their mentors which numbered over 60 were former football players and coaches that included many members of the Northern California chapter. The morning training was followed by a luncheon banquet in which words to live by were passed along by former NFL stars Eason Ramson and Billie Anderson. Anderson, a former Stanford and 49er football player, said “The boys are the single focus. At least during this 5-6 hour stretch, they’re the most important people on the planet. These kids have been told they can’t all their lives they’ve been yelled at and have never had enough positive input. So here, you don’t do anything wrong. What you do is you learn. The kids come to learn about football, but many leave with a sense of confidence and self-esteem. How much difference does a day make? One of the boys participating had a brother who was killed in a drive-by shooting. His mother says he barely spoke or smiled for months.” Anderson says she saw him talk and laugh again at the football clinic. Thirteen-year-old Elmer Ramirez of Salinas discovered anything is possible. “You have to follow your dreams and even if you’re not the best, you could follow other things,” Ramirez concluded.
We wanted to give these children an experience of a lifetime in one day and we believe we did.
Our Caring for Kids Initiatives