HACKENSACK, N.J., Nov. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The COVID-19 pandemic has brought changes to college football, but one thing remains the same: the commitment of college coaches to raise awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) with their signature charitable action Coach To Cure MD, presented by Werner Ladder. This year, the initiative also branches into the world of music with help from country music entertainer Chase Rice.
For the 13th consecutive year, college football coaches nationwide will wear logo patches on their sleeves in support of Coach To Cure MD during games on Saturday, November 14, as the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) once again encourages college football fans to donate to projects supported by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest, most comprehensive nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused entirely on Duchenne.
Chase Rice, who first became connected with the cause through relationships formed during his own time as a college football player, will host a special live stream event on Sunday, November 15 to raise additional awareness and funds in the fight for a cure.
To date, the annual Coach To Cure MD effort has raised over $2 million and made millions of Americans aware of this lethal genetic disorder. Coach To Cure MD began in 2008 with more than 200 schools and 2,700 coaches involved. Over twelve years that effort expanded to over 600 schools and more than 11,000 coaches – a 300 percent growth to encompass almost everyone in college football at all levels.
With many college football programs outside Division I not playing football this fall, and with Duchenne families not able to take to the field as they have for more than a decade, Chase Rice was eager to join the effort to add a new dimension.
"I love college football and so many of the coaches I know have personal relationships with families from welcoming them to the sidelines over the years. Seeing the impact they have on these kids and the cause as a whole is why I wanted to get involved," said Rice, who played linebacker for the University of North Carolina before finding success as an artist. "In a year where game days look a little different, I hope that we can still help raise awareness and funds for this important cause through the power of music."
Rice's virtual performance, An Intimate Evening of Music with Chase Rice presented by Werner Ladder will be streamed Sunday, November 15 at 7:00pm EST. To tune into this free performance event simply log onto the Facebook pages of Coach To Cure MD or Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.
Chase Rice is best known for his Double Platinum chart-topping single "Eyes On You" and for co-writing the smash hit "Cruise," recorded by Florida-Georgia line – which topped the country chart longer than any song that came before it. Rice's virtual performance is a free event, with fans encouraged to support the fight to end Duchenne by going to CoachToCureMD.org to make a donation.
Duchenne is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood, primarily affecting boys of all races and cultures. People with Duchenne develop progressive muscle weakness that eventually causes loss of mobility, wheelchair dependency, and a decline in respiratory and cardiac function. Currently, there is no cure for Duchenne. But thanks to Coach To Cure MD and the work of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, there is hope.
"The AFCA and our members take great pride in our association with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy," AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said. "Each year, our coaches look forward to wearing the Coach To Cure MD patch so that they can help bring awareness and much needed funds to help find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy."
"Football is a team sport. It requires the unique skill set of each individual player and coach in order for a team to be successful. Similarly, with Duchenne, it will take a community of researchers, scientists, clinicians, industry partners, and of course families, to find treatments and stop the progression of this devastating disease. We couldn't fight this fight without the ongoing commitment of every coach in the AFCA," said Pat Furlong, Founding President and CEO of PPMD. "The awareness raised for Duchenne has been nothing short of incredible, and we continue to raise more money every year as a result. The dedication of all the coaches who wear a patch in honor of our families and now this year, Chase Rice performing to support our Duchenne community, well, it is really amazing! Thank you for joining our team and helping us tackle Duchenne this November 14-15!"
"Werner is proud to help college coaches step up to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy," said Stacy Gardella, vice president of brand marketing at WernerCo. "Our company is honored to partner with PPMD and Chase Rice to ensure more college football fans get the chance to step up and fight with us."
About the AFCA
The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to "maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession" and to "provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football."
About Chase Rice
With nearly 2 million albums sold and more than 1.6 billion total streams, plus a legion of passionate fans at his high-energy concerts across the globe, Chase Rice has established himself as a powerful force in Nashville and beyond – but he genuinely sees new releases The Album Part I and The Album Part II as the launching pad for music that says what he wants to say, how he wants to say it. With songs such as Top 10 lead single "Lonely If You Are" featuring sleek rhymes over heartland six strings mixed with EDM-laced drama, this is the same gravely-voiced Chase Rice fans first fell in love with years ago – but better. Freer. Unbeholden and uninhibited, somehow capable of evoking Chris LeDoux and The Chronic, campfire singalongs and stadium anthems, all at once. The series follows his sophomore album, Lambs & Lions, released with Broken Bow Records in 2017 and featuring the Double-Platinum, two-week chart topper "Eyes On You" – Rice's first No. 1 as an artist and the most-streamed song of his career. Lambs & Lions followed Ignite the Night, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums and No. 3 on the all-genre chart, producing a pair of Top 5 hits; "Ready Set Roll" and "Gonna Wanna Tonight." After supporting Kenny Chesney's The Big Revival stadium tour, Rice has consistently sold out 2,500-3,000 seat venues on his own headlining tours. For more information, visit www.chaserice.com and follow on Twitter and Facebook @ChaseRiceMusic or on Instagram @ChaseRice.
About Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is the largest, most comprehensive nonprofit organization in the United States focused on finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy – our mission is to end Duchenne.
We invest deeply in treatments for this generation of people affected by Duchenne and in research that will benefit future generations. We advocate in Washington, D.C., and have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. We demand optimal care, and we strengthen, unite and educate the global Duchenne community.
Everything we do – and everything we have done since our founding in 1994 – helps people with Duchenne live longer, stronger lives. We will not rest until every person has a treatment to end Duchenne. Go to www.ParentProjectMD.org for more information or to learn how you can support our efforts and help families affected by Duchenne. Follow PPMD on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, and YouTube.
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SOURCE Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD)