NFL Foundation to donate $250k to local memorial fund

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Updated: 6/24/2013 2:31 pm
TRUCKEE, Calif. (KRNV & -- The National Football League Foundation has awarded a grant of $250,000 to the Gene Upshaw Memorial Fund, the NFL announced today.

The grant will be paid in $50,000 installments in each of the next five years, bringing the NFL’s total contribution to the fund to $350,000 since its inception five years ago to honor the legendary Hall of Famer.

Upshaw died in August 2008 of pancreatic cancer at age 63. The Gene Upshaw Memorial Fund is held by the Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation, and benefits the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center and the Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research.

Created in 2009 by Terri Upshaw, Upshaw’s wife, the Gene Upshaw Memorial Fund has raised nearly $500,000 for pancreatic cancer research, quality medical treatment and care for cancer patients and their families, sustainability and advancement of medical technology, and funding for research in areas such as traumatic brain injury.

More than 25 NFL players and other sports celebrities, including fellow Hall of Famers and Raiders greats Marcus Allen, Fred Biletnikoff and Mike Haynes, will pay tribute to Upshaw on July 14-15 during the fund’s signature fundraising event, the Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic at the Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing in Truckee, Calif. Upshaw was a founding member of the course.

Gene Upshaw served as executive director of the National Football League Players Association from June 1983 to August 2008 after a successful 16-year career as a player with the Oakland Raiders. During that time, Upshaw worked diligently to enhance, protect and defend the individual rights of professional football players throughout the National Football League. Upshaw also served as chairman of National Football League Players Incorporated.

A perennial All-Pro offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders, Upshaw was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, his first year of eligibility. He played in 217 games and was selected to seven Pro Bowls.

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