CHUCKSTRONG gains momentum after Colts win
The campaign to support Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano continues to grow.
A new "CHUCKSTRONG" poster will be available starting Tuesday to fans for free. The poster will be at Colts Blue Friday events and Huntington Bank branches.
The CHUCKSTRONG campaign was first prompted on Twitter by Colts punter Pat McAfee to get fans involved in Pagano's fight against leukemia.
"This city rallies behind people like nothing I've ever seen. This CHUCKSTRONG movement is an amazing movement and this city, the Colts fans, the nation of Colts fans have really bought into it. It's amazing to see the power of people," McAfee said Monday.
Starting Tuesday through Saturday this week at all nine Indiana Blood Center locations, fans can support the coach and the CHUCKSTRONG campaign without spending money. Donating blood takes about 45 minutes in all, but you're only pumping blood for about 10 minutes.
Even though the campaign starts Tuesday, Indianapolis resident Terry Woodburn spent about an hour donating blood at the Indiana Blood Center Monday morning.
"You always want people to respond when there is an emergency. The coach has an emergency and the community can support him. But there's a bigger picture here and this can push the entire community to give blood for many reasons," Woodburn said.
The Indiana Blood Center is open for donations nearly every day of the year. With nine donor locations across the state, the center hopes to have 600 donations a day to service all the hospitals in Indiana.
If donating blood makes you queasy, $20 will get you the most popular item in the Colts Pro Shop. Nearly 3,500 CHUCKSTRONG t-shirts were sold over the weekend. All the proceeds stay in Indiana for leukemia research at IU Simon Cancer Center, where Pagano is being treated.
Colts players are also personally involved in the CHUCKSTRONG campaign. Long snapper Matt Overton gave cancer patient Ray Perry and his wife tickets to Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. Tight end Dwayne Allen also gave tickets to cancer patients.
The Colts say they've already raised $90,000 for leukemia research through the CHUCKSTRONG campaign.