"What are we without our mothers?" Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson asked a group of reporters at the Golf Club of Houston on Wednesday.
The All-Pro, who was hitting the links in preparation for the inaugural Andre Johnson Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic, is teeing off for a great cause. The charitable event will benefit the Houston Area Women's Center, an organization dedicated to helping individuals affected by domestic and sexual violence in their efforts to move forward.
"My foundation is always working with kids that grew up in a single parent home and things like that," Johnson said. "I've been able to work with the women at the Women's Center in the past, and we wanted to reach back out to them and work with them again. Giving back to the women that have been battered and stuff like that and have been through some tough things in their life, just to help them get back on their feet. We just try to help out as much as we can."
President and CEO Rebecca White was elated with Johnson's selection of the Women's Center as the golf classic's beneficiary.
"It's just fabulous," White said. "I just can't tell you how excited we are. Of course, we're all big football fans, but we're also big fans of people who step up in our community and do something about the issues that we as a community confront. Domestic and sexual violence, not everyone wants to come out and talk about that. We're very impressed with the level of leadership and courage and compassion that this event shows to those that we serve."
"That is just truly amazing," Chair of the Women's Center Sandra Aultman echoed. "We haven't had anyone of this celebrity, one of our hometown heroes, step up for our organization. It's going to be far reaching."
For 37 years the Women's Center has been providing shelter, counseling and advocacy to support women, children and men in building lives free from the effects of violence. Johnson's contribution will assist in providing a place of refuge and relief to the 120 people living in residential shelters.
"We're still talking with Mr. Johnson and the foundation about exactly where they want to see those dollars to go," White said, "but we have many, many very valuable programs that help address the problems of domestic and sexual violence and help those affected move their lives forward. That's what it's really all about."
Johnson explained why he chose a golf tournament to raise money, as opposed to some other activity.
"I'm getting older, I'm not a young kid anymore," he said with a laugh. "I just think with time the decisions you make just change. Right now, golf is my new little thing of interest, I guess."