Eagles' Brent Celek comes through again

DEPTFORD, N.J. - December 20, 2010

On a Sunday afternoon, toward the end of an otherwise unremarkable football game, Eagles tight end Brent Celek gave this gift to the fans in Philadelphia: A 65 yard, career long, tide-turning touchdown.

"Of the 29 years I've been playing football, that was the most memorable game I ever played," Celek told Action News.

A day later, and barely rested, Brent Celek had something different up his sleeve.

"I love seeing the smile on the kids' faces, that's why I do this," Celek said as he face the line, a long line of people who waited inside Walmart in Deptford, New Jersey for a chance to meet the man who changed the game that changed the Eagles season.

"Actually I wanted to thank him for making that play happen yesterday," fan Al Hodge said, "and winning the game yesterday, because he kicked it off."

But these people didn't come because they heard Brent Celek's story. They came because he heard theirs. Each of these families, some 150 of them, were personally invited by the Eagles tight end and his Take Flight Foundation because they are living through tight times. Each family is financially strapped and each has a member trying to cope with a chronic disease.

For several hours, Celek gave kids who have plenty of reasons to suffer a chance to smile. He signed, for each, a football. But he wanted to give these families more than just a memory; he wanted to give them actual presents. Each family got a gift card so they could get as many presents as $100 would buy them.

"It's going to make it a lot better, a lot easier to deal with, know what I mean?" said Laverne Williams. "Especially the way time are right now, this is a blessing. This is a blessing, trust me when I tell you."

Two days, two different scenarios in which hope ran low. But one man helped deliver a remarkable outcome for both.

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