Rawhide’s foundation is built on stepping out on faith when vision and opportunities arise. In the mid-60s, John and Jan Gillespie took a chance and reached out to Bart Starr, who then raised public awareness for Rawhide. As awareness continued to grow, Rawhide was able to help thousands of troubled boys change their lives. A few years ago, Bart Starr reached out to Steve Young, NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback and ESPN Analyst, with a fundraising idea for Rawhide: The Chalk Talk Luncheon.

History of Chalk Talks

For many years, Bart and Cherry Starr joined Steve and Barb Young in Phoenix, Arizona for the Steve Young Desert Classic golf tournament. Bart took this opportunity to invite Steve to Green Bay, but the timing never seemed to work out for either of them. However, the Youngs were eager to support Bart and Cherry’s philanthropic work with Rawhide. Thus, the Chalk Talk luncheons were conceived. Similar Chalk Talks had been held in different cities by different ESPN Monday Night Football commentators. Green Bay’s rich football tradition, as well as the strong philanthropic emphasis benefitting Rawhide, made this Chalk Talk different.

Creating a Tradition

The first Green Bay Chalk Talk occurred in 2013, hours before a Packers-Bears game. Steve and Bart sat back and talked about their Hall of Fame careers, sharing inside jokes and behind-the-scenes commentary. They then moved the conversation to Rawhide’s mission and the impact that Rawhide has had on the lives of so many troubled boys over the years. Fellow Hall of Famer and former Packers running back, Paul Hornung, even made a surprise appearance. Talk about a Kodak moment!

The event brought Rawhide national attention and reached many people who may not have been aware of the great things Rawhide is doing.

Second Quarter

In 2014, Steve stepped up again, but health issues prevented Bart from participating. Bart reached out to another renowned Packer quarterback, Brett Favre, and asked if he would step in for him. Brett agreed. And on December 8th, 2014, before the Monday night game, attendees and media alike flocked to Brett Favre’s Steakhouse as Brett and Steve continued the tradition. The nation took notice once again, inspiring a new Twitter hashtag, #FavreWatch, for tracking his journey back to Green Bay.
Thanks in large part to Steve Young, people nationwide were able to hear about the effective work Rawhide is doing and understand Rawhide’s specialness. ESPN showed clips from the event during the game that night. You can view the entire 2014 Chalk Talk event here.

Going the Extra Yard

Steve’s work with Rawhide is merely one of his many philanthropic ventures.

  1. He founded the Forever Young Foundation in 1993, a nonprofit focused on passing on hope and resources for the development, strength, and education of children.
  2. The Forever Young Foundation has also partnered with Primary Children’s Medical Center in Utah to build “Sophie’s Place,” a music room in the medical center devoted to music therapy.
  3. In 2002, Engage Now Africa began collaborating with the Forever Young Foundation to fight poverty, illiteracy, and disease in Ethiopia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Namibia.
  4. Mr. Young is also actively involved with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit devoted to raising funds for children’s hospitals, medical research, and community awareness of children’s health issues.

We are incredibly fortunate to have Steve Young involved with Rawhide. He has provided us with incredible support and has helped bring attention to the difference Rawhide makes in the lives of troubled youth. For your involvement with Rawhide, we thank you Mr. Young.