By Kevin Eickman
On the final Sunday of spring break, there are lots of things that young people could be doing. This past Sunday Milford football player Michael Tkach was hanging with his buddy, Justin Haggerty. Tkach has been selected as the Milford representative for the Delaware Foundation Reaching Children with intellectual disabilities (DFRC) Blue-Gold football game this year. An event that not only will he participate in, but will also find himself being coached by his father one final time before heading off to Delaware Valley college in the fall. While two buddies spending a Sunday together playing catch and video games is not exactly earth shattering, the organization that makes moments like this possible is.
The Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens is in the forefront in Delaware when it comes to providing funding and services to individuals with disabilities. Part of that mission includes fundraising and one of the events coming up is the annual Sussex County auction, put together by Justin’s mother Ann Haggerty. On Sunday Justin, Ann and his father Billy took a drive. It was not just any Sunday drive, it was a trip to go visit New England Patriots defensive back Duron Harmon.
The Super Bowl champion took time out of a busy off season schedule to meet the Haggerty family and autograph a few items for the auction this Saturday. While it may sound like a simple thing to sign a jersey and a football, this visit was much more than an autograph session. It was about Justin having another buddy added to his circle, one more special person he gets to call a friend. Harmon spent quality time with Justin, just talking and having a good time.
Harmon’s roots to Blue-Gold go back, specifically to the 2009 game when he played for the Gold squad. “It was a great experience, I loved everything about it,” Harmon said. “Being in the buddy program was amazing and to be in a position to give back is very special.”
One of the people present on Sunday was Duron’s nephew Nick, who has been diagnosed with Autism. Seeing the challenges his sister has faced, has served to strengthen Harmon’s commitment to helping the DFRC. “It is easy to make time for an organization like this, what they do is so important and impacts so many lives,” said Harmon. “Being able to make a difference is something very close to me, this is something I love to do.”
Last year’s auction raised over $40,000, a number that Ann Haggerty hopes they can do better than this year. “Our goal is to get as much funding as we can to the people that need it, this auction goes a big way towards that,” commented Haggerty. “When you have a great person like Harmon, who takes the time to help it really benefits DFRC.”
The auction is will be this Saturday at 5:30pm. Besides football memorabilia, there will be number of other one-of-a-kind items from all over Delaware. Tickets for this fantastic evening can be purchase via the DFRC website at http://www.blue-gold.org/our-events.