Devard Darling, Austin High alum turned NFL player is bringing a 5k family fun run/walk to Sugar Land, 8am, Sunday, February 26, at the Sweetwater Country Club. It’s called the 2nd Annual Darling Dash 5k & 1k and it’s a fundraiser benefiting the As One Foundation, which Darling started in honor of his late twin brother, Devaughn, to empower young people to unlock and unleash their full potential through athletics, education and spiritual enrichment.
Darling will be joined by Sugar Land’s Mayor Pro Tem, Jacquie Chaumette as Race Grand Marshals. “I’m so proud to serve as Grand Marshal for the Darling Dash,” Chaumette said. “I especially hope to see all of Sugar Land come out to support this family event for such a great cause.”
Participants can still take advantage of discounted rates until February 15, by registering online at www.asonefoundation.org/the-darling-dash/. Donors can sign up online as well. On February 15, prices go from $25 to $30 for adults and from $10 to $15 for children 12 and under. Registration payments and donations, made out to the As One Foundation, can be mailed to 6725 South Fry Road, Suite 700 #296; Katy, TX 77494. Race fees are tax deductible.
In addition, donors, sponsors and volunteers may sign up online or by emailing Tomia Austin at Tomia@AsOneFoundation.org or by phoning, 832-308-9984. Remaining sponsorship packages from $500 to $15,000 can be reserved with Tomia as well. This event is open to runners & walkers of all levels. The public is invited to visit the www.AsOneFoundation.org website often for updates on celebrity and NFL players participants. Current invited guest include former FSU Heisman-wining quarterback and NY Knicks guard, Charlie Ward; Biggest Loser contestant, Cherita Andrews.
The Darling Dash comemorates the annual anniversary of the death of Darling’s identical twin, Devaughn, who died during spring football practice at FSU in 2001. Both twins carry the sickle cell trait, which alone is no real threat to the 8% of Americans born with it annually. But, coupled with physical rigor and lack of hydration, could be fatal – as it was for Devaughn. Themed “Celebrating the Heart of Devaughn Darling”, Darling Dash revenue will help fund the As One Foundation’s scholarship fun as well as efforts to prevent future deaths of young athletes by promoting sickle cell trait awareness.
“Houston has been my home since I was a little boy,” said Darling. “Helping young people brings me joy and I know in my heart this is what Devaughn would want. We’re looking forward to building on the tremendous event we had for the first time last year.”
The As One Foundation takes its name from the fact that the doctor had been hearing two hearts beating As One while their mother carried them unaware she was having twins until their birth. Devard lives on to fulfill his and his brother’s shared dream to play professional football and to give back to both their homes – Houston, Texas and their native Bahamas. This dream of giving back was made official when the As One Foundation was established in 2007 as a public charity that annually provides scholarships to FBISD high school seniors through the Devard & Devaughn Darling Scholarship Awards and brings the twins’ love of football to children of the Bahamas every summer through the Devard & Devaughn Darling Football Camps.