Few things in life are more valuable than happiness, and that feeling was in abundance at the Brookwood Community on Tuesday afternoon.
Special teamers Shane Lechler, Jon Weeks and Nick Novak, along with safety Lonnie Ballentine, were on hand as the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and the Houston Texans Foundation proudly presented a $750,000 donation to the Brookwood Community, a non-profit residential facility and vocational program for adults with disabilities.
"You don't see anybody unhappy. It's amazing," Texans chairman and CEO Bob McNair said. "Dealing with the difficulties they have to deal with, yet to have a smile on their face and feel valuable, it's just wonderful. It really gives them something to be excited about and we just love having them support us and they go crazy when the players come out here and it adds a little enjoyment to their life."
The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and the Houston Texans Foundation donated $750,000 to the Brookwood Community, a non-profit residential facility and vocational program for adults with disabilities.
The donation was made to Brookwood's annual Benefit Luncheon campaign which helps support all operating expenses of the organization. The $750,000 figure represents a matching donation to all the funds raised at the luncheon held last week.
The event began with a pep rally, as residents helped lead chants and cheers with TORO and Texans cheerleaders. They were then delighted as the quartet of players entered to share their stories and help present the generous donation.
For safety Lonnie Ballentine, the moment hit close to home. Ballentine, a father of three, has a 4-year old daughter named Laila who has Down syndrome.
"It's really close to me," Ballentine said. "It was important for me to get here and show my support. They were really nice and had a lot of energy. Coming here, to see them, the way they get taken care of here."
For Lechler, it wasn't his first trip to Brookwood, but he always enjoys these special visits.
"Anytime we can help out this community, it's great," Lechler said. "I've been here a few times. They also have great energy and huge support for our team. It's a unique atmosphere. They get a lot of stuff done here, have their own jobs. It's an impressive organization. It's very cool.
"You can see when we walk in the room, it's pretty much the light of their day. That feeling goes both ways. To be able to put a smile on their face like that, it makes us feel good, too. It's a good experience."