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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 5

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Page 48 of 87

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 5 49 P R E S E N T S L E G E N D R YA N K E R R I G A N BY ALAN KARPICK R yan Kerrigan has a way of making things look easy. He is worthy of legendary status in that way. In action, the former Boilermaker All-American and two- time NFL Pro Bowler draws little attention to himself. He just makes plays and gets things done. On the field, he shines, quietly and efficiently. So, it is not surprising that Kerrigan has become a player in the philanthropic world as well. His Blitz for the Better Foundation is making a difference, so much so that he was nominated for the NFL's Byron "Whizzer" White Man of the Year Award, presented by the NFL Players Association, for the player who has best served his team, community and country. Joe Tiller, Purdue's all-time winningest coach, used to say that if had a team full of Ryan Kerrigans, he would have coached until he was 100. Kerrigan is the rarest combination of extreme skill and extreme humility. "You just don't get guys like him very often," Tiller said. "He's pretty selfless." When we caught up with Kerrigan in late April, he had just finished setting up his fifth Kerrigan's Korner, this one at the Children's National Medical Center. The newest install- ment transformed an underutilized room at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. into a physical and occupational therapy gym, providing space for children to rehab while recovering from injuries and illness. Some of the other Kerrigan's Korners introduced electron- ics to children's hospitals, so kids could unwind while playing video games or by looking at a digital book. "It gives them a way to get away and be themselves, wheth- er that is a video game or a coloring book," Kerrigan said. "Anything to take their minds off things and make things a little bit better. " A reasonable, effortless response, that took more than the simplicity of the remark. Vintage Kerrigan. Here's more of what Kerrigan had to say about his philan- thropy, his unofficial role, along with Drew Brees, as the face of Boilermaker football at the professional level, his upcoming return to West Lafayette, Coach Jeff Brohm and much more. Gold and Black: How did the Blitz for the Better Foundation come about and when did it start? Kerrigan: "As a professional athlete, I have the opportu- nity to take advantage of that platform in a big way. I know a lot of pro athletes have their own foundations, and after Skill and Humility Personified Kerrigan is making a huge difference on and off field Kerrigan Hosting Golf Outing May 12 Ryan Kerrigan, who hasn't played much golf since his elbow surgery, will be back on Purdue's golf courses in mid-May as he hosts the Ryan Ker- rigan/12th Boiler golf outing. The scramble event takes place on Friday, May 12 on Purdue's Kampen and newly re-designed Ackerman-Allen golf courses. The registration form deadline is May 3. Golfers who are interested in playing should contact Jim Vruggink at or 765-494- 2086. There are special student rates and rates for golf or reception only. Ryan Kerrigan's Blitz for the Better Foundation Ryan Kerrigan, an All-Pro as a player, is now healthy and ready for his seventh NFL season. But much of his off-field passion center around his foundation, especially for Kerrig- an's Korner, where he works hard to make life more enjoy- able for children with chronic illness.

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