St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook set the Rams franchise record for receptions (51) and receiving yards (671) by a tight end last season in his first season with the club. Prior to that, he tied for the Titans team lead in touchdown receptions (4) in 2012, ranking fourth on the team in receiving despite missing the last three games of the season and setting career highs in all receiving categories in his 2011 season. Yet in his past five years in the league, Cook has shown he can be an impact player both on and off the field.
Coming off a standout college career at South Carolina, where Cook was named All-Southeast Conference and one of eight finalists for the Mackey Award in his junior season, Cook declared for the 2009 NFL Draft. As Cook prepared for the draft, Cook’s mother, Yulinda, was diagnosed with breast cancer – a battle she fought and won – sparking his commitment to spreading breast cancer awareness. Cook and his mother are key instruments in the NFL’s fight against breast cancer, taking to the stage in the annual Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure last year, addressing a crowd of 40,000 cancer survivors and their families.
Earlier this year, Jared and Yulinda Cook took part in a Power of a Promise luncheon.
. @komenstl has put on an amazing #PowerOfAPromise luncheon #Survivors. @JaredCook89 & his mom r featured speakers. pic.twitter.com/4UlG4Atu1c
— Nicole Woodie (@NWoodie) May 4, 2014
Last Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Cook extended his community reach in St. Louis, hosting a celebrity golf scramble Jared Cook’s Celebrity Golf Scramble in support of his Dreambuilders program and its partnership with Little Patriots Embraced.
Little Patriots Embraced (LPE) is a charity that supports families of active duty military, with a particular focus on children. LPE delivers specialized programs that support the spouses and children who are experiencing emotional stress stemming from the extended separation as a result of military deployment or are grieving the loss of a family member. One of the many ways this is done is through a youth development program designed to help children who are missing a parent. Since launching 10 years ago, LPE has served more than 32,000 military children and thousands of family members by providing emergency financial relief for families of servicemen and women fighting overseas.
“We are very excited to partner with Jared Cook to raise money to support our important programs for military Kids,” said Carol Watanbe, LPE’s founder and executive director. “Little Patriots Embraced has thousands of military children waiting for our programs, and all proceeds from the Jared Cook Celebrity Golf Scramble event will go to fund these.”
The event, held at the Old Hickory Golf Club in St. Peters, involved golfers and non-golfers alike, featuring a post-tournament dinner, raffles, a silent and public auction.
Getting ready to build dreams with @JaredCook89 and @LittlePatriots at old hickory GC in STL. #dreambuilders #FORE! pic.twitter.com/xcuIRQ18ea — Dreambuilders Fdn. (@Dreambuilders_1) May 20, 2014
“I am very excited to host this tournament and partner with such a great organization as Little Patriots Embraced,” said Cook. “LPE does so much to support the men and women who fight for our freedom and their families who sacrifice so much while they are serving overseas. The programs they operate are able to put a smile on the faces of the children who are missing a parent, and let them know there are plenty of people in their corner.”
This move by Cook is evidence of his commitment towards helping children who face challenges much unlike others their own age. Cook’s Dreambuilders program also focuses on helping to reduce the emotional strain of children of parents suffering from breast cancer.
Cook was named the Tennessee Titans Man of the Year in 2012 for his breast cancer awareness and fundraising events in Nashville. After joining the Rams in 2013, Cook followed the precedent set by fellow teammates by becoming involved in charitable causes in the St. Louis area.
Quarterback Sam Bradford served as Komen’s honorary chair in 2012, and delivered a short speech from the stage in 2013. He also joined Cook in signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans throughout the morning.
“In the beginning, the Rams were handing out roses and now I think they are an integral part of the whole day,” Dede Hoffman, the board chair of the St. Louis affiliate of the Komen Foundation said. “It’s fabulous the sponsorship and support the Rams give us. We love it.”
Rams John Hekker and Barrett Jones came out in support of his teammate Jared Cook’s event.
Rams Players in full support of teammate Jared Cook at Old Hickory Golf Club. pic.twitter.com/MAyLDtLCst — Tony Softli (@SoftliSTL) May 20, 2014
With Jared Cook and his teammates firmly behind Little Patriots Embraced, their organization will continue to conduct an array of activities throughout the year to thank military family members, with a special focus on the children, for their sacrifices for our country.
Thank you to everyone who made today possible. Jared “Cookie” Cook, our sponsors, our wonderful golfers who… http://t.co/53OIV1jDIy — Little Patriots (@LittlePatriots) May 21, 2014
Special Thanks to Christina Phillips of Precision Sports Management. Photo credit Karl Lund Wise Media
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