Mora launches SoCal chapter of foundation

BY foxsports • April 21, 2013

LOS ANGELES -- Jim Mora started his Count on Me Family Foundation in 2005 when he was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. Since then, Mora has made two stops in Seattle and Los Angeles, expanding the not-for-profit foundation to reach from coast to coast. Moving with Mora and his wife, Shannon, has been the foundation’s marquee fundraising event, a celebrity golf tournament.
The couple is hoping the event doesn’t move again.
“The golf event moves with us,” Shannon said.
Mora then added, “Hopefully it stops moving.”
On Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Field, the Moras officially launched the Southern California chapter of Count on Me. The family’s foundation partners with other local non-profit organizations in order to benefit children in need. The efforts of the organization go toward helping children from a variety of backgrounds, including those from various socioeconomic backgrounds, those with mental or physical disabilities and from at-risk homes.
The goal is to give kids a support system when they might not otherwise have one.
“Every avenue of outreach and every avenue of need we look at as a foundation,” Shannon said. “We want to make a positive impact on children and we want to empower them and get them to rise and realize their dreams, and like Jim said, have a sense of normalcy.”
More than 50 kids from three local charities participated in drills run by the UCLA football team following practice on Saturday. And although it was not mandatory for the players to stay and work with the kids, nearly the entire team chose to stay and participate.
“We might not think it’s a big deal but to them it’s a huge deal,” said senior linebacker Anthony Barr. “I remember when I was a kid going to practice and seeing guys like myself, the players and it feels good just to be a part of it.”
“It’s not always about the money though, it’s about the time – spending time helping out in your community, looking for ways that you can reach youth,” Mora said. “For our organization, it’s volunteering and putting together events going on around the community.”
The golf tournament, slated for May 20 at Riviera Country Club, will feature Hall of Fame football players in Terry Bradshaw, Marshall Faulk, Warren Sapp and Rod Woodson, as well as actors Joel McHale and Kevin Nealon. Adam Carolla will also be doing his live podcast from the event, which is already sold out.
Prizes include everything from autographed bottles of wine and footballs by former UCLA head coach Dick Vermiel and quarterback Troy Aikman to trips to the Super Bowl and a trip to Nebraska when the Bruins travel to face the Cornhuskers next fall.
New Year, new attitude
Interest in the spring football game has dwindled in recent seasons and that fact hasn’t been lost on Mora. In an effort to rejuvenate a waning fanbase and compete with the abundance of activities that the area has to offer, Mora and UCLA have re-branded and re-worked the spring game into a new event called the Spring Spectacular.
“Officially, we’re not going to call it the spring game anymore we’re going to call it the Spring Spectacular,” Mora said. “Instead of running about 100 plays, we’ll probably have about 60 plays. It will be a little shorter scrimmage portion than last year but much more fan-interactive.”
The same drills seen every spring, such as seven-on-seven and red zone defense will still be run, but fans will play a bigger role than ever before.
Mora was especially excited about halftime’s fan competitions, in which two males and two females will compete in skill drills such as the 40-yard dash, punt and kick returns, catching a long ball from quarterback Brett Hundley, field goal kicking and a throwing accuracy challenge. Fans will then be invited on to the field of the Rose Bowl after the game to get autographs from players and fireworks will be shot off from inside the stadium to complete the event.
Mora said on Twitter that he is hoping to get 50,000 fans to attend.
“I heard Nebraska had 60,000 but if we can get 50,000 that would be awesome,” Mora said. “What could be more fun than coming out to the Rose Bowl on a Saturday afternoon and hanging out with the Bruins?”

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