Chiefs o-line holds 16th annual Huddle Time benefiting First Downs for Down Syndrome

Posted May 31, 2012

Chiefs offensive linemen have helped First Downs for Down Syndrome raise over $1,000,000 since 1992

On Wednesday, the Chiefs offensive line gathered for a cause that didn’t involve keeping a quarterback upright.

The First Downs for Down Syndrome Foundation and the Chiefs linemen began their 20th season of partnership with the 16th Annual Huddle Time charity auction at Mestizo restaurant in Leawood, Kansas.

Since 1992, the Chiefs have helped First Downs for Down Syndrome raise over $1,000,000 for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Guard Ryan Lilja, center Rodney Hudson, and other Chiefs players mingled with potential bidders and Chiefs fans at the event to raise that number even higher.

Lilja, the honorary co-chairman of the program, said the event has become a tradition for the offensive lineman.

“When I signed, all the guys in the locker room told me this was the organization that we do,” said Lilja. “This has been going on a while, and it gets passed on. It’s an offensive line thing.”

Right tackle Eric Winston said he respected that tradition and the commitment of his new teammates to the First Downs for Down Syndrome Foundation.

“It think it’s great,” said Winston, “Coming here and learning what the offensive line does for Down Syndrome shows that they know it’s important that we’re all out here.”

The Chiefs offensive linemen weren’t the only ones involved in Wednesday’s live and silent auctions, though. Quarterback Matt Cassel and running backs Jammal Charles and Dexter McCluster donated signed footballs to the auction. The auction also included a pizza party with kicker Ryan Succop and an appearance by punter Dustin Colquitt at a local football practice.

The offensive line was joined by three Chiefs tight ends at the event as well. Tony Moeaki, Kevin Boss, and Steve Maneri came to the event to support the auction.

Maneri, a former offensive lineman, said the tight ends were happy to support the cause of their teammates.

“I showed up and they still had a name tag for me because I was an old offensive lineman,” said Maneri. “But guys like Tony didn’t have a nametag because they weren’t expected to be here. I think that shows what kind of guys we have in the locker room and how committed they are to giving back.”

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