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 Sweet Water 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.
NFLer friends of Darling – Heisman Trophy Winner & Former NY Knick Charlie Ward; Original Houston Texan, Chester Pitts; Hightower High Alum & Green Bay Packer, Herb Taylor; ’09 1st Round Draft Wide-Receiver for the Oakland Raiders, Darrius Heyward-Bay; Houston’s own Olympic Taekwondo Gold Medalist Lopez Family; Former Houston Texans Defensive End, Travis Johnson and wide-receiver, Mark Simmons 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 by register online at www.asonefoundation.org/the-darling-dash/. Donors can sign up online as well. 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. 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.
The Darling Dash commorates 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.
Devard Darling, the founder and visionary of the As One Foundation, is pursuing his goals on the professional football field while bringing to life the dream envisioned between him and his late twin brother, Devaughn.Devard has played professional football since he was drafted in 2004 by the Baltimore Ravens, and has since played for the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Houston Texans.
Devard began his athletic career at Florida State University as one of the top high school prospects out of Stephen F. Austin High School in Houston, Texas. However, after the unfortunate passing of his identical twin brother Devaughn Darling on the football field during spring practices in 2001, Florida State University would not reinstate Devard for his remaining eligibility. After being connected with Mike Price, former Head Coach of the Washington State University Cougars, Devard was cleared to play and became one of the best wide receivers in Washington State history, recording 16 touchdowns and over 1500 yards in just two years.
Devard currently resides in Katy with his wife, and their two sons Devard Jr, and Devaughn II.
For more information on the As One Foundation or the Darling Dash 5k, phone 832-308-9984, email Tomia@AsOneFoundation.org or visit www.AsOneFoundation.org.