"Today is a great chance to celebrate what our team does off the field and to connect our players with the community that supports them on Sundays," said Rams Chief Operating Officer KEVIN DEMOFF at the team's ninth annual Kickoff for Charity Luncheon. "Players can tell their stories with their helmets off at a table over some lunch, really giving our fans a chance to know them and raise some money for the Rams Foundation and our community efforts as well…It's the hallmark for what I think our organization should be."
Hosted the day before the Rams played their final preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Kickoff for Charity Luncheon, presented by UNIFY Financial Credit Union, took place on Wednesday, August 29 at the Intercontinental in downtown Los Angeles. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Los Angeles community through the Rams Foundation.
The Luncheon is a unique event that allows team sponsors and fans to be seated alongside Rams players and Legends, and includes a season preview by Coach McVay and CBS' illustrious sports anchor Jim Hill. Attendees also had the opportunity to bid on auction items including Super Bowl tickets, a peristyle suite for the Rams vs. Packers game at the Coliseum and a road trip on the team plane.
With service at the core of both organizations, the Rams and the Kickoff for Charity's presenting sponsor, UNIFY Financial Credit Union, are collaborating on ways to make a positive impact through outreach events and hands-on support projects. UNIFY will also join the Rams for a monthly Staff Day of Service when members of the front office staff take time out of the office to volunteer with local schools and non-profits.
"The excitement behind the Rams homecoming has been tremendous and this partnership represents a true alignment of the vision and values of both our brands," said UNIFY CEO Gordon Howe. "With shared Los Angeles roots dating back to the 1940s, UNIFY and the Rams are both local institutions committed to giving back and supporting the people and businesses in the community."
Check out photos from the 2018 Rams Kickoff for Charity Luncheon at the Intercontinental, Downtown LA. All proceeds from the event benefit the Los Angeles Rams Foundation.
Since returning home to Los Angeles, Rams staff, players, cheerleaders and Rampage have spent more than 6,900 hours in the community to help bring to life the projects that previous luncheons have helped fund including partnerships with more than 75 local non-profits and schools.
"There are so many things that we're doing outside of just football," said Coach McVay of his players and staff. "I think the one thing that you really get in tune with is that so much of what they do in their job is public information and you almost lose sight of the fact that there's a human element that exists. These guys have families and they're doing so many different things in the community."
In addition to highlighting some of the team's community involvement, the Rams and the President and CEO of St. Joseph Center, Va Lecia Adams Kellum, Ph.D., also encouraged Luncheon attendees to join them in support of United Way's "Everyone In" campaign, which serves to end homelessness across Los Angeles County by providing critical services to those who need it most and helping transition people experiencing long-term homelessness with short-term and permanent housing solutions.
"Today, I stand before you to ask for your partnership to help tackle our region's most defining issue – homelessness," said Rams COO Kevin Demoff. "While it can seem like a problem too big and too complex to wrap our individual arms around, if we all come together collectively, we can do it. Our most vulnerable Angelinos need our help. Whether it's single mothers and families, veterans or people who have fallen on hard times because of a loss of job or medical crisis, homelessness has many faces. As the Rams, it's our hope to rally ourselves, our community and all of Los Angeles to climb to new heights and together tackle this pressing issue with compassion and teamwork."
According to Kellum, United Way's "Everyone In" campaign has already seen success in its first year. To date, the campaign has moved 13,524 people off the streets and into interim housing, 7,500 individuals into a home of their own, and prevented 5,780 people from falling into homelessness.
"St. Joseph's Center joined United Way's 'Everyone In' campaign early on because we understand that homelessness requires a collective response," said Kellum. "We can all make a powerful difference in someone's life. Many of you are already doing so much and I know how important giving back is to the Rams organization, but we need all of you to help us end homelessness.
"St. Joseph's Center is so happy to be involved in the Kickoff for Charity event. The room had so much energy and was filled with people who really care about our community. For the Rams to be back in LA and giving back to the community is wonderful and St. Joseph's Center looks forward to the partnership with the Rams and really making a difference."
For more information about the Rams community outreach efforts, please visit therams.com/community.