During the second timeout of tonight's game against California a man with a large check will be seen on the field at Autzen Stadium accompanied by a few young men from St. Mary's Home for Boys located in Beaverton, Ore.
Every year Dick Sorenson, 1962 alumnus of the University of Oregon and senior managing director for the Royal Bank of Canada, makes a substantial monetary donation to the University of Oregon sponsoring a game on behalf of RBC.
Simultaneously, he personally picks a charity in Oregon to raise money for to combine the two causes. Sorenson has a heart for kids and his past fundraising has been gifted to CASA of Lane County or the Ronald McDonald House. He and his colleagues go to work raking in the donations for their charity, then get to gift it by means of a giant check (both physically and monetarily) at an Oregon football game every year.
This year, Sorenson and his colleagues from across Oregon have personally raised $21,850 that will be directly donated to St. Mary's Home for Boys. That is what Oregon fans will see happening when the second flag is thrown during first quarter.
"You can be mentors to these boys, but I can't do it because it just kills me. So I do stuff like this," Sorenson said.
St. Mary's Home for Boys is a place where young men aged 7-17 are placed by the state when they are taken out of severely abusive homes.The boys get rehabilitated here and it begins with meeting the boys' basic need for safety and is supplemented by the presence of caring adults. Next, the boys are integrated back into school and some receive mental health care due to traumas they've endured.
The boys that you will see on the field with Sorenson today will have earned their spot there. Dick has encouraged the boys to keep a quality grade point average and to conduct themselves in an exemplary way as often as they are able.
"The competition was both grades and behavior. We had to take every name to the judge to be approved," Sorenson said.
This is not the first or last time Sorenson and his colleagues will actively play a role in the lives of these boys. Sorenson compliments the fundraising coordinator Lynda Walker at St. Mary's for her passion for the young men and the ease with which he works with her.
"I went to college to be a schoolteacher. But the boys are so sweet and their stories are so sad-you just stay, said Walker, who has been with St. Mary's Home for Boys for 44 years.
The 20 boys out of the 104 who reside at the home and were chosen to accompany Sorenson to the game this evening, will sit together at the game in a special section with Sorenson and his colleagues, as the other boys watch the game from Beaverton, celebrating in style with a pizza party. To learn more about St. Mary's Home for Boys visit here.