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
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.”
“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
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.”