Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eye Black Challengers: Taylor Haugen Foundation


ESPN's Tom Rinaldi has a piece on Taylor Haugen, a Niceville, Florida football player who died after being injured in a game. Taylor wanted to be a Gator, and through a fortunate turn of events the Haugens met Tim Tebow and asked him to present the Taylor Haugen award in their son's honor. Below is the story from the Taylor Haugen Foundation website.

Click here for the ESPN Video.

Every Saturday, college football fans tune into ESPN’s College GameDay to preview top matchups and get up to the minute analysis on that day’s games. On Saturday, December 5th, they will also get an opportunity to see how one family turned tragedy into opportunity and examine the unique relationship between Niceville’s Taylor Haugen Foundation and Florida’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow.

ESPN correspondent Tom Rinaldi noticed Tebow wearing a “Don’t Quit- Never Give Up” wristband during an interview following the concussion Tebow received during the Kentucky game on September 26. The wristband was created by the Foundation to honor Taylor’s personal mantra and his determination for giving everything one hundred percent.

The special segment highlights the work of the Foundation and discusses the tragedy which inspired its creation. Taylor passed away on August 30, 2008 from injuries sustained during a football game between rivals Niceville and Fort Walton Beach High Schools. The Taylor Haugen Foundation provides support and recognition to faith-based, athletic students and community organizations through awards, scholarships, and funding.

Tebow, along with Taylor’s parents Brian and Kathy Haugen, co-presented the inaugural Taylor Haugen Trophy in February 2009. The Trophy is given by the Taylor Haugen Foundation in partnership with All Sports Association, Inc. The trophy recognizes a student athlete who excels academically, shows dedication to his or her sport and team, and demonstrates commitment to his or her faith and community through volunteerism and overall leadership. Most importantly, The Taylor Haugen Trophy recognizes a student athlete who embodies Taylor’s personal mantra “Don’t Quit- Never Give Up!”

“Tim Tebow is a true ambassador for the Taylor Haugen Foundation,” said Brian Haugen, Taylor’s father and President of the Taylor Haugen Foundation. “Like Taylor, his life is focused on devotion to faith, family, and community. We were so pleased that he was able to present the inaugural Taylor Haugen Trophy and that he wears the wristband in honor of our extraordinary son and we are thankful that ESPN selected T’s story to share with the nation.”


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