During Wednesday’s luncheon for Tanya Snyder, the American Cancer Society held an auction to raise money for the organization. Items included a Super Bowl package, a Redskins VIP experience, and a home-cooked meal by chef Mike Isabella. But it was a pair of shoes that brought down the house.
A single pair of Robert Griffin III’s autographed, game-worn pink cleats went for $15,000, making them the highest priced item at the auction.
The man willing to write that check was Gerald Haddock, a real estate investor from Fort Worth, Tex.
“My family loves the Snyders,” he explained to me. “We love doing something for the organization. It’s not about the shoes, but it is about honoring them and the organization. And Robert Griffin. Robert Griffin means as much to us in Texas and to the people who supported him at Baylor, as he does to the family of Washington. And so it’s really a combination of all those things.”
Haddock said that, being from Texas, he has mixed loyalties between the Cowboys and the Redskins, but there’s no question who his quarterback of choice is. Haddock is also a Baylor alum, and was seated at Griffin’s table for the luncheon.
The generous fan told me that the prized cleats will reside in the corner of his office where he has — get this — an “RGIII Wall.”
“A jersey, a helmet, signed football. A couple of other items,” Haddock said of the other things that make up the tribute wall. “A lot of other memorabilia, because we followed him for five years, and I flew with the Baylor team on a number of out-of-town games. It’s been, almost like a pilgrimage for about five years.”
Haddock said the pink shoes will be the centerpiece of the collection.
As for Griffin, his fundraising efforts weren’t finished. Anyone in attendance willing to donate $1,000 to the organization would get to take a photo with the in-demand quarterback, and then have that picture autographed. Eighteen people lined up, bringing RGIII’s fundraising total for the day to $33,000.
Not bad for a two-hour appearance. Pretty sure he just jumped to the top of every non-profit’s guest list.