Football legend Rogers speaks at dinner

  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shirley Baker was a little more than excited when former Gamecock and pro football player George Rogers handed her his Super Bowl and Heisman rings. Baker gladly obliged his offer, though his oblation was temporary. Rogers was guest speaker at Vital Aging of Williamsburg Dinner and Silent Auction held at Santee Electric Cooperative Thursday evening. PHOTO BY MICHAELE DUKE


For the past several years the staff of Vital Aging of Williamsburg County has hosted a dinner and silent auction to raise funds for various projects such as the purchase of a walk-in freezer to store home-delivered meals and replacing agency vans, which deliver the meals and other aging services. The events have been star-studded; past guests have included University of South Carolina Running Backs Coach Everette “Sandman” Sands, former Clemson Football Coach Danny Ford, former New York Yankee Bobby Richardson, and former South Carolina Baseball Coach Ray Tanner. The July 24, event was no exception.

Special guest former USC Gamecock George Rogers recalled his professional career as well as his drug use and subsequent lifestyle changes that led to enjoying a wonderful life with children and the creation of the George Rogers Foundation, which provides scholarships to first generation college students living in the Carolinas. “I made some bad decisions in my life and one of them was to do drugs,” said Rogers, whose Alma mater is planning to erect a statue in his honor. “I am fortunate to be alive. I just thank God I am alive. My kids are doing good and the Game Cocks are winning.”

During Rogers college career he earned the Heisman trophy for the most outstanding college player and many of his records still stand. Rogers would go on to play for the New Orleans Saints, where he led the league in rushing. He would also play for the Washington Redskins that included a trip to the Pro Bowl and a Super Bowl title. Rogers retired from the NFL and founded the George Rogers Foundation.

Guests at the dinner included Lt. Governor John Yancey McGill, Tony Kester, director, Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging and several commissioners from area agencies. At the event’s closing, Lt. Gov. McGill and Tony Kester each presented Vital Aging Executive Director Robert Welch with funding that will be used to enhance programs and to aid in absolving debt. “This will help ensure the services for future generations for the county,” said Welch who accepted the funds on behalf of the organization.

The event is held at Santee Electric Cooperative every year. Auction items included a USC Signature football autographed by Rogers, baseballs signed by Bobby Richardson and a Charleston Harbor cruise and stay at Wild Dunes Resort.

To view more photos of the dinner/silent auction, visit The News photo gallery at www.kingstreenews.com/photos.

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