“Not making a decision is the worst thing you can do. So long as you feel you made the right decision based on the information you had at that time, there’s no need to fret about it. If it fails, you’ll know what to do next time.” — Former University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler in Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches The Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership
Reggie McKenzie is about to run it back.
For a 50th time, to put it more precisely.
A former University of Michigan and Buffalo Bills legend who played 11 NFL seasons from 1972-1982, McKenzie will be spearheading the 50th Anniversary Gala Friday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m. EST.
Powered by the Reggie McKenzie Foundation, the 50th Anniversary Gala will take place at St. John’s Banquet & Conference Center, located at 22001 Northwestern Highway in Southfield, Michigan.
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ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard will be the featured speaker for this year’s Gala. Howard, 52, spent 11 seasons in the NFL for five different teams. The 1991 Heisman Trophy winner, Howard is mostly remembered for his lone season in 1996 with Green Bay, during which he helped propel the Packers to a 35-21 win in Super Bowl XXXI against the New England Patriots and was named the game’s MVP — this after he amassed a Super Bowl record-tying 244 all-purpose yards, including 90 punt return yards.
Established in 1974, the Reggie McKenzie Foundation has become a fixture for customarily embracing the challenge of helping to improve the quality of life of thousands of young people, according to a detailed introduction of this organization at https://reggiemckenziefoundation.org/our-mission.
Proceeds from The Gala will go to support the foundation’s free athletic clinics and academic programs, most notably an employment program dedicated to fostering the education, mentoring, and development of youth in metropolitan Detroit.
“We believe in developing the whole child by providing academic, sports clinics, employment, life skills, technology and community outreach programs free of charge,” said a spokesperson for the Reggie McKenzie Foundation. “Our success is due in part to partnerships, businesses, volunteers, and charitable donations given by those who want to invest in the lives of young people.”
Said Gala event manager, Marc Perry: “The Reggie McKenzie Foundation continues to make a social impact in a low economic community that has changed thousands of lives by putting young people on a path of high achievement in sports, education, business and serving others.”
AN ALL FAMILIAR POSE — The 1991 Heisman Trophy winner, Howard is mostly remembered for his lone season in 1996 with Green Bay, during which he helped propel the Packers to win in Super Bowl XXXI against the New England Patriots and was named the game’s MVP — this after he amassed a Super Bowl record-tying 244 all-purpose yards, including 90 punt return yards.
Perry also credited NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis for his valiant contributions to the foundation.
“Jerome Bettis said it best,” Perry, who also praised foundation executive editor Eleanor Blackwell, told Making Headline News this week. “Without Reggie McKenzie, there would be no Jerome Bettis.”
Michigan Sports Broadcaster and McKenzie’s long-time friend, Jim Brandstatter, will give opening remarks. Carolyn Clifford of Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ TV 7 will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for The Gala.
Also, “Former RMF participants who have demonstrated the strength and impact of this world-class organization by becoming contributing adults will assist with tasks throughout the evening to ensure an exciting and successful gala,” said a spokesperson for the Reggie McKenzie Foundation.
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Suitably dubbed a Red Carpet event, the Gala is expected to attract Bettis, who is famously known as “The Bus.”
Also scheduled to attend are Thomas “Pepper” Johnson, Gilbert Brown, Terrell Starr, Braylon Edwards, Stan Edwards, John Wangler, Jim Harbaugh, Keith Byars, Luis Sharpe, and Keith McKenzie, among others.
“There will be greetings from the governor and local mayors or their representatives,” said an RMF spokesperson.
McKenzie emphasized, among other things, he doesn’t take lightly the immeasurable strides his organization has made for the past five decades.
“Fifty years ago, I embarked on this journey,” McKenzie, a native Detroiter, said. “At the time, I had no idea how rewarding it would be. It’s all about kids and putting something back into my community. Today, many of these kids are contributing adults with families of their own, and we’re now seeing their children attending our camps and academic programs. It’s like watching a long-term investment pay off and I couldn’t be happier.”
McKenzie, 72, starred at offensive guard at Michigan under Bo Schembechler from 1969 to 1971 before embarking upon a stellar professional career.
Selected 27th overall by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 1972 NFL Draft, McKenzie was named First-Team NFL All-Pro in just his second season.
LEADING THE CHARGE
Consequently, he was named Second-Team All-Pro in back-to-back seasons (1974 and 1975).
After a nine-year stint in Buffalo, McKenzie spent his final two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before calling it a career following the 1984 campaign.
MORE ON REGGIE McKENZIE
For more about Reggie McKenzie of the Reggie McKenzie Foundation, call 313-869-8081 or connect with this organization via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reggiefoundation; Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reggiemckenziefoundation/; Twitter: https://twitter.com/rmfoundation. Also, send email to email@example.com.
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Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist or Instagram at @makingheadlinenews.
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