By Mary Beard
Special to Stlouisrams.com
The St. Louis Rams Community Player of the Week is defensive end
Each week, Chris Long is one of the most recognizable players on the field. He has been a consistent threat to every quarterback that the Rams have faced and serves as a leader for the youngest team in the NFL. But Chris is just as well known throughout the St. Louis area for all that he does for others. Lending his name, time and passion to a variety of causes, Chris helps make a difference in the community one opportunity at a time.
Chris has always displayed a dedication to supporting our military. For the second consecutive year he served as honorary chair of the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign with the American Red Cross. The campaign sends out thousands of cards to both active and retired military during the holiday season to thank servicemen and women for all that they do and to wish them a happy holiday season. Chris continued his partnership with the American Red Cross during the annual blood drive this past December. Chris stopped by the drive to meet with donors and thank them for their contribution, managing to fit in a few games of washers with fans at the outdoor tailgate.
Getting even more in the holiday spirit, Chris joined his teammates
Always a team player, Chris lends his time to many of the team’s community efforts, attending the Make-A-Wish Celebrity Server Dinner earlier in the fall helping the Rams collect enough donations grant 56 wishes, and then spending the Thanksgiving holiday with the rest of his defensive line delivering meals that they helped purchase to St. Louis residents in need.
Chris also joins with the entire defensive line to make a financial donation to St. Patrick Center every time the Rams defensive sacks the opposing team’s quarterback. The money raised through the “Sack Homelessness” program helps operation St. Patrick Center’s housing, employment and health programs for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
“Chris is absolutely one of our organization’s best ambassadors and we’re so fortunate to have him as a St. Louis Ram,” said Molly Higgins, Rams’ vice president of corporate communications/civic affairs. “He is someone who does a great job of engaging fans from all walks of life and really embraces the platform that he has a professional athlete to bring awareness to causes and help people in need. He’s one of those guys who you can honestly say is an awesome player but an even better person.”
About the Rams Community Player of the Week
Each week during the 2013 season, the St. Louis Rams will select a player who has made a positive impact on the Greater St. Louis community, giving of himself off the field. Each honored Rams Community Player of the Week will receive a gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the Official Steak House of the St. Louis Rams.