Joe DeLamielleure always claimed his love for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame guard often stated that he will return each summer to join in the Enshrinement festivities even if he had to walk to Canton, Ohio.
He will achieve that feat when he arrives on the front steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, July 20 at approximately 11:00 a.m. EDT. The six-time All-Pro will take the final steps of a 10-day, 213-mile walk to raise awareness for children needing prosthetic legs.
Public invited to welcome Joe
The public is invited and encouraged to be on site at the Hall of Fame on Saturday to welcome Joe as he finishes his trek that began last Wednesday from midfield at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., the site of where he began his career with the Buffalo Bills. DeLamielleure has averaged more than 20 miles per day in order to arrive at the Hall of Fame where his playing career culminated with his induction ten years ago in 2003.
Joe D and his college teammate and lifelong friend Eljay Bowron, who has been accompanying Joe on the road, mapped out the walk from Buffalo to Canton. They made sure it covered exactly 213 miles to represent the signficance of the number 13 to DeLamielleure:
• Number of letters in Joe’s last name
• Signed his first pro contract on Friday the 13th
• Seasons played in the NFL
• Year of eligibility when elected to the Hall of Fame
Joe D’s walk has raised awareness and gained support for the Grace’s Lamp organization of Charlotte, N.C., that deals with young children who grow out of their prosthetic legs but cannot afford the high cost of new adult prosthetic legs.
DeLamielleure is one of a record number of Hall of Famers who will be in Canton for the Hall’s Golden Anniversary Reunion in early August to welcome the newest class of enshrinees. The gathering of legends represents the largest number of Hall of Famers from one sport in one place at one time.
The Class of 2013 – Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson, and Warren Sapp – will be formally enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 3.
“This endeavor is further evidence of the extraordinary character possessed by a Hall of Famer,” commented the Hall of Fame’s President/Executive Director Steve Perry. “We applaud Joe’s efforts and are excited that he and so many football legends will be with us this year.”
Buy enshrinement tickets and have portion of sales go to Grace’s Lamp
Perry also announced that the Hall of Fame will support DeLamielleure’s cause by setting aside a block of 500 enshrinement tickets from which $10 of each ticket sold will go to Grace’s Lamp. Anyone wishing to donate in this manner must purchase tickets in person at the Hall of Fame box office or by calling 330-456-8207 and indicating their desire to designate the $10 portion of the sale to go to Grace’s Lamp.
Grace's Lamp Foundation is a charity that young Joey Funderburk of Charlotte, N.C., and his family started to help Joey and others like him receive the medical treatment that they need and also to help other families adopt children. When they originally started raising funds to get new prosthetic legs for Joey, they had no idea they would see such an incredible outpouring of love and generosity for Joey's needs.
Everyone was so kind and encouraging, that they soon realized they could not just sit back and accept all these blessings without doing something to help others in similar situations. Grace's Lamp was established to help families adopt children, go on missions, and get the medical treatment that they need. Visit GracesLamp.org>>