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Bulldogs raising funds for injured players

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Representatives from the Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation will be present at Bulldog Stadium for Friday night's game pitting the Bulldogs against SA Christian. Athletic Director and Head Coach David T. Sine will introduce the Gridiron Heroes founder Eddie Canales and his son, Chris Canales, at a pep rally at 3 pm. Chris is a quadriplegic who sustained a spinal cord injury playing football in 2001.
Gridiron Heroes was formed in 2003 with the mission of providing "immediate and long-term resources and support to individuals sustaining catastrophic spinal cord injury in high school football." Gridiron Heroes is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in San Antonio.
Supporting the foundation is nothing new for the Bulldogs. They raised funds for the foundation at their August 15 scrimmage against Carrizo Springs this season, as well as in previous years. During the course of Friday's gridiron battle, there will be a "Pass the Helmet" moment to collect more donations for the cause.
The foundation is currently in the middle of its second annual Road Trip for Heroes campaign, a 2,500 mile journey across Texas, which began earlier this season in Dallas. At the kick-off of Road Trip, the foundation presented a wheelchair-accessible van to the family of Diondre Preston, former star quarterback at Molina High School who suffered a spinal cord injury on the field in 2010.
"The goal for Road Trip is to raise a minimum of $125,000, which is being used to purchase two wheelchair-accessible vans for injured athletes and their families in Texas," said a spokesman. A little over $82,000 of the goal has been raised. The wheelchair-accessible van donated to the Preston family marks the 12th van that Gridiron Heroes has awarded in its 10-year history.
"This means so much to the family," said Canales, of Schertz, "but our work still continues. We push every day to continue to raise funds to help more families, and we need support. People can help by going to www.RoadTripHeroes.org."
For more information about the foundation, its mission and resources for spinal cord injury, call (210) 849-9250, or visit www.gridironheroes.org.