The Turlock Gospel Mission is calling a Hail Mary pass in order to raise enough funds to operate its meal mission and day center for homeless families during the fund-dry summer months. To execute this play, the mission is bringing in the big guns: Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
Carr will share his personal story of faith at an evening event at Monte Vista Chapel on April 20. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Turlock Gospel Mission.
"Derek has a great testimony to share," said TGM Executive Director Tim Guerino. "For a young man his age, it's a powerful statement."
Carr was born in Bakersfield and attended Fresno State where he, like his brother David— former number one overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft — led the Bulldogs as starting quarterback.
As a Bulldog, Carr started for three seasons and threw for 12,843 passing yards and 113 touchdowns. His skills on the football fiend drew the attention of the Oakland Raiders, which drafted him as the 36th pick in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft. As a rookie for the Raiders, Carr threw for 3,270 yards and 21 touchdowns and became the first player since Rich Gannon to start all 16 games as quarterback for Oakland.
Carr's battles haven't only come on the football field, however. In 2013, while still playing at Fresno State, Carr and his wife Heather gave birth to son Dallas, who was rushed into surgery immediately after birth to help repair knotted intestines. Through the tribulations associated with his son's condition, Carr missed only two practices with Fresno and has credited his faith in Christianity as the reason he and his family pulled through the ordeal.
"His story is inspirational," said Guerino.
At first, Guerino was worried about the short time frame in which to promote the event. However, he underestimated local Raider fans.
"It's been great," Guerino said about the number of calls for tickets he's received just from sending out emails and putting up posters. "I didn't think the Raider Nation was that big around here.
"Derek's coming is a blessing."
Tickets for the event are $20 for general admission and $40 for preferred seating. There are also 20 VIP spots available for fans to meet Carr. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. April 20 at 1619 E. Monte Vista Ave., Turlock. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 606-1873 or visit turlockgospelmission.org.