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Matthew Stafford comes up with a generous gift, times two


When Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was approached about donating an item to a fundraising auction for University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, he came through with a package of tickets and travel to the Lions’ Monday Night Football game in Chicago in October. Then Stafford went to the auction, bought the item himself for $15,000, and gave it to a young patient at the hospital named Faith Falzone.

The Detroit News reached out to Stafford afterward, and he said he has gotten to know the Falzone family and wanted to see them enjoy the experience.

“They have been through so much in the past couple years, and to see how much they all supported each other and faith through their tough times was really inspiring,” Stafford said in a text message. “I wanted to give them something they could really be excited about and something I know they deserved.”

Others who deserve credit for their generosity include ESPN’s Monday Night Football play-by-play man Mike Tirico, who threw in two additional tickets to the package Stafford donated, and former Michigan players Brian Griese, Steve Hutchinson and Charles Woodson, who were the organizers of the fundraiser. Woodson has given $2 million of his own money to the hospital, and the fundraising efforts of Griese, Hutchinson and Woodson have totaled nearly $6 million over the last six years.

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34 Responses to “Matthew Stafford comes up with a generous gift, times two”
  1. bluejays20091 says: May 21, 2012 8:56 AM

    Matthew Stafford is a great guy 😀

  2. halfie6 says: May 21, 2012 9:04 AM

    Surely he insisted on increasing his twitter followers first?

  3. Rex Grossman says: May 21, 2012 9:04 AM

    Not a fan of obvious PR moves like this one. $15,000? Big deal. And then he runs off and does an interview about it. Classy.

  4. jimthebuilder27 says: May 21, 2012 9:05 AM

    Class act, all of them. Wish there were more players like this.

  5. bigdubba says: May 21, 2012 9:06 AM

    so the story should have been ‘charles woodson gives 2 million dollars to children’s hospital’

  6. noeffinway says: May 21, 2012 9:07 AM

    Thank you, MDS, finally you write a positive piece about a Lion…

  7. dagnon13 says: May 21, 2012 9:16 AM

    So the story is about a guy that gave $15k and some time, while you barely mention the other player that has given 133x the 15k amount?

    What the deuce…

  8. jjbadd says: May 21, 2012 9:24 AM

    As a Bronco fan, I have always liked Brian Griese and thought he underachieved in the NFL.

  9. bigjdve says: May 21, 2012 9:30 AM

    This was good to hear, whether he is a Lion or any other team. Sure it isn’t much money for Stafford, however he thought of something that would make someone happy.

    I wish that we could see more of this.

    Good job to all the people mentioned in this article.

  10. beedubyatoo says: May 21, 2012 9:31 AM

    bigdubba says:
    May 21, 2012 9:06 AM
    so the story should have been ‘charles woodson gives 2 million dollars to children’s hospital
    That’s old news, Charles gave that money two years ago. Still a wonderful and generous

    The facts are that any athlete that supports children’s causes, especialy hospitals, are all-pros in my eyes.

    Way to go Matthew.

  11. 1967forever says: May 21, 2012 9:36 AM

    Talk about burying the lead. At the end of the article, you write that Charles Woodson has donated $2 million of his own money to the hospital. That would buy a lot of tickets.

  12. geemoney713 says: May 21, 2012 9:43 AM

    I know it’s the thought that counts, but for someone in the top 20 of the highest paid NFL players, $15k is chump change.

    Obviously you can’t put a price on helping a family like that, but he easily could have donated more in that situation if he feels it’s a great cause.

  13. jr30pc says: May 21, 2012 9:45 AM

    Not sure I’d count this as a PR move. Just because Stafford responded to a text message, doesn’t mean he ran off to do an interview. I think it was great that he has a platform to acknowledge and bring a little attention to the Falzone family – it sounds like they have had a tough few years.

    My guess is this donation isn’t the only thing he has done this year as far as charity goes. So, it’s rather ignorant to mock someone else’s donation of $15,000.

  14. easyeddie says: May 21, 2012 9:53 AM

    Rex Grossman says:
    Not a fan of obvious PR moves like this one. $15,000? Big deal. And then he runs off and does an interview about it. Classy.
    “The Detroit News reached out to Stafford…”

    Read the story first, before popping off. The newspaper asked him to comment on his gift.

  15. havok82 says: May 21, 2012 9:55 AM

    Class acts and stand up guys for this. I love hearing stories about this stuff.

  16. kungfubillysims says: May 21, 2012 10:04 AM

    where are all the Lions haters today? and not even a snide comment by MDS about the squad? Wow! I’m about to go buy a lottery ticket.

  17. schmitty2 says: May 21, 2012 10:05 AM

    Rex Grossman says:May 21, 2012 9:04 AM

    Not a fan of obvious PR moves like this one. $15,000? Big deal. And then he runs off and does an interview about it. Classy.

    Complaining about an athlete actually doing something positive and helping out someone less fortunate? CLASSY!

  18. acdc84 says: May 21, 2012 10:08 AM

    This guy gets a $50 million+ contract and can only come up with $15k? Sounds like fairly cheap publicity. Woodson knows how to put his money where his mouth is.

  19. satantebowing says: May 21, 2012 10:08 AM

    I love the people who complain that this guy makes millions and “only donates 15k, big deal…” Really? You are the same people that think successful people should have to pay for all the lazy people that don’t want to work. To all those people I say, how much have you donated to charity? Thought so…

  20. realitypolice says: May 21, 2012 10:14 AM

    Everyone on here always counting the money.

    Ask the Falzone family if the gift feels like a cheap PR move.

    Since he won the bid, that means other bids were lower, so his bid ensured the maximum amount went to the charity.

    And he’s the only reason the package was there to auction off in the first place.

    What portion of your 2011 income did all of you donate to charity?

  21. brennankm46 says: May 21, 2012 10:17 AM

    I don’t really care if this is a PR move. It helps someone, and that’s what counts. I don’t even like FatFace, but this is a really kind gesture.

  22. PFTiswhatitis says: May 21, 2012 10:54 AM

    Great story. Kudos to everyone involved. It would be nice to see more pro athletes care about things other than themselves.

  23. polamalurulz43 says: May 21, 2012 10:58 AM

    What the hell is wrong with posters… so different people have done different levels of good deeds… that is cause for applause, not criticism. All those efforts deserve positive attention and it wasn’t like the players called their own agents to do a press conference about these things. Ease off the negative buttons to day folks.

    … this also begs the question of who in the hell would choose Rex Grossman as a handle on this site. Seriously.

    Kent Graham.

  24. CKL says: May 21, 2012 11:01 AM

    Add me to the list of people who rolls eyes at others complaining about “the small amount” the athletes donate. They don’t HAVE to donate ANYTHING. Now you people are the disposable income police for things that are positive? You remind me of a former co worker who won an all expense paid trip to Hawaii and then sulked because he’d never get the chance to go again after that.

  25. suprsquirrel says: May 21, 2012 11:10 AM

    satantebowing says: May 21, 2012 10:08 AM

    I love the people who complain that this guy makes millions and “only donates 15k, big deal…” Really? You are the same people that think successful people should have to pay for all the lazy people that don’t want to work. To all those people I say, how much have you donated to charity? Thought so…

    Had a big, long post to you and decided against it. Instead, I’ll simply say this:

    Matthew Stafford: 11.5 million = $15,000, less than half a percent of his salary

    Mrs. Squirrel and I: Appx $80,000 = between three and four grand donated in the last year, slightly over 4% of our salary.

    I am not asking for a pat on the back and in fact expect much backlash for it. I just find it humorous that you are so quick to judge anyone who feels that he probably could give more than $15,000 (and maybe he does) as people who ‘live off the government.’

    I would like to give Stafford props for his donation, as any donation to a charity should be applauded, however I don’t have the time to sit and wait for you to finish your verbal blowjob for Stafford’s donation of less than 1% of his salary all the while judging me and others at the same time…

  26. rmc1995 says: May 21, 2012 11:13 AM

    I’m glad most people get the generosity of Stafford. For those who are getting in a peeing match over who should get the headline, this event is a University of Michigan event so it’s not really a surprise to see UM football alum donate to the cause. However, to have a Georgia alum understand the importance of the event and then donate a prize and then over bid on the prize and then personally give the tickets to a child’s family is pretty special. Stafford is embracing a community he doesn’t have to make his own, but certainly is. When Woodson goes to a Georgia event and donates over $15,000, I’m sure it will make the papers.

  27. burntorangehorn says: May 21, 2012 11:20 AM

    $15k is still $15k. Guys do this kind of thing all the time, but instead of shrugging, acting like it’s routine, and anti-elitist chanting about how much they should’ve been able to afford to give, how about just admiring that these guys are doing nice things for other people? I would be very surprised if this is the only thing Stafford has done for someone less fortunate, and even if it were, it’s a lot better than the kinds of things a lot of sports fans would do in Stafford’s shoes. Many would probably act more like Plaxico, Pacman, or other people who can’t handle their money and fame, although they’d never admit it.

    Nice job, Stafford. I’m sure you really made that family’s day. I didn’t want to like you when you chose UGA and were the #1 pick, but whatever; you’re a good fellow, and you’ve earned my cheers with your hard work on the field and good character off it. Keep up the solid work.

  28. 49erstim says: May 21, 2012 11:50 AM

    @mrsquirrel….. Kudos to you for your generosity. I will not knock you for that, however I will say your comparison is “apples to oranges”. This was one donation by Stafford and you compared it to your yearly giving. I do appreciate your continued support of good causes. This was not intended to blast you. I think people are complaining about the “haters” because there are some people who see negative in everything. Thanks for your time.

  29. metzgerf says: May 21, 2012 11:53 AM

    For everyone out there who is hatin’ on the amount of money that Stafford gave – sure, it’s much easier just to wire a larger amount of money just to say you donated….anyone can do that. But Stafford’s gift was done out of the kindness of his heart towards one specific family. I’m sure they accepted it more humbly and graciously than some of the haters commenting on this article would have.

  30. beedubyatoo says: May 21, 2012 12:13 PM

    Stafford also has a foundation which he funds, the proceeds of which go to charity and education.

    I’ve got a clue for the clueless. It’s more than $15K.

  31. j0esixpack says: May 21, 2012 12:16 PM

    That’s a very nice move – to donate, bid himself and give it to a family that he knows will appreciate the respite.

    Note that Stafford wasn’t trying to get attention for himself.

    Compare that to Jim Irsay who donated $50,000 towards tornado relief and issued a press release to call attention to his donation.

    To Irsay, who spent $2 million for a personal copy of Jack Kerouac’s original manuscript for “On the Road,” that donation is the equivalent of $1.75 for someone making $50,000 a year.

    Yet while you and I routinely donate MUCH more than $1.75 a year and don’t issue a press release or expect any pats on the back, Irsay’s got his entire press operation out there spending much more than his donation to tornado victims trying to make him look good.

    So yes – Stafford deserves credit for making a nice donation WITHOUT any expectation for good press – because of that I’m glad he got some.

  32. truelionsfan says: May 21, 2012 10:02 PM

    I see how you tried to underscore what Stafford did by throwing in the amounts given by UofM grads, to a UofM hospital. So even your positive article about the Lions is still trying to trash them. Way to go MDS. Everyone out there trying to run there mouth about this dudes donation needs to shut your yap.

  33. liontomyself says: May 23, 2012 12:17 AM

    It does not matter what was “spent”… is the thought that counts.

    And THIS counts :

  34. rlouisbarrett says: May 23, 2012 11:40 AM

    Incredible that people still find a way to complain about great stories like this. It’s Stafford’s money, and he doesn’t have to give a dime of it away if he doesn’t want to.

    Beyond that, how much of a donation is enough, really? This is a great gesture by Magic Matt #9 and he’s a class act. It’s absurd that any person mocks his donation of time and money.

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