On the field, Drew Brees is a leader and quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, but off the field, he’s committed to giving back to the place he calls home – San Diego.
For more than a decade, Drew, who started his professional career with the San Diego Chargers, and his wife, Brittany, have been helping kids in our region. In 2003, they started the Brees Dream Foundation with a mission to advance cancer research and to help provide care, education and opportunities for children in need. Since 2005, the Foundation has committed or contributed more than $235,000 to Rady Children’s.
Drew and Brittany began their relationship with the Hospital by choosing the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders as one of the beneficiaries of the Brees on the Tees Golf Tournament. Throughout the tournament weekend, Drew coordinated patient visits to the Hospital with NFL players from around the league. To help the kids pass the time during their chemotherapy treatments, he gave them duffle bags filled with electronic games and toys. During the tournament, some of the kids joined him on the golf course, and NFL players taught them how to play. Drew also took the children on deep-sea fishing trips.
In 2006, the Brees Dream Foundation pledged $50,000 to the Peckham Center to name the tree house in Carley's Magical Gardens. (The naming opportunity was to honor the Brees' aunts, Judith Zopp and Anne Jones.) The tree house is a mosaic that includes a small track for children to race small Hot Wheels cars. Children can also crawl inside the tree house where a golden egg is hidden. Twelve golden eggs are hidden throughout the garden. Each contains a clue leading the patient to the next egg. When the search is complete, the patient can place their wish in the golden locket around Marisa the mosaic bird’s neck. These wishes are then collected by staff to better understand the thoughts and needs of the patients.
In 2010, the Brees Dream Foundation began hosting a celebrity golf tournament. In San Diego, the Drew Brees Celebrity Championship is an annual three-day event benefiting the Brees Dream Foundation and their supporting partners, which includes Rady Children’s. Now in its 14th year, the 2012 event will be held May 17-20 at the La Costa Resort & Spa.
To learn more about the Drew Brees Celebrity Championship or to participate, visit http://www.celebritychampionship.com.