JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars’ “Meet Me at the 50” event was held Thursday evening at EverBank Field, drawing a large crowd and raising money for breast cancer research.
For many, the event hit close to home.
“My boyfriend's mother just recently finished up with treatment from breast cancer, so it's an important event for us to help raise money for breast cancer,” attendee Jennifer Lassiter said.
Many echoed her sentiments.
“Well, as she said, my mother went through breast cancer this past year,” Kirk Perrow said. “So, we're season ticket-holders for the Jaguars and it seemed like an awesome opportunity to support a great cause and support the team, as well.”
PHOTOS: Jaguars 'Meet me at the 50'
Lassiter added, “We love it. We love the Jaguars. We love everything they do for the community and for women, for men and children. Everyone!”
The event means a lot to the city of Jacksonville.
“It’s the most important part of this town, being an NFL city,” Perrow said. “All the extra benefits -- not just on Sundays. It’s a great thing to have the Jaguars in town.”
From every corner, people shared their stories.
“I have family members who have had cancer -- two sisters -- one who is in recovery for 15 years, and another sister who is going through the process of her treatments right now and her surgeries,” said Carol Singleton, who attended the event.
When asked if the disease has made an impact on her family, Singleton replied, “Yes it has. And even prior to that, I had a next-door neighbor to me when I was a little girl, (she) died from breast cancer — not catching it early. It's been years. I used to run. When I started running (the) Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure, I ran in memory of her and in celebration of my sister. And now I have two sisters to celebrate and I'm hoping and praying that they find a cure for it.”
The event featured live music and an auction.
“Collectively with our family, it could not have come together any better,” said Michaela Bradley, of the Jaguars Women’s Association. “So, we're really really excited about today. This is about not just breast cancer. It happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but let's broaden this and make it bigger, because so many people are affected by so many different cancers. I think we need to open that up.”
Super Bowl winning coach and ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden and ESPN NFL host Suzy Kolber both attended as keynote speakers.
“For whatever reason, I've always been a Jags fan,” she said. “When Bradley got the job, I don't know why, there always seems to be a connection. And then meeting Michaela, she’s such a good person. And the event is for such a good cause. It felt like family. You can see and feel the impact it’s having. So, it’s just natural to want to be back.”