Former NFL running back Herschel Walker, winner of the 1982 Heisman Trophy, joins Jan Lupia, event co-chair, founder and executive director of Mama’s House, Patricia McDonnell, event co-chair, honorary co-founder of Mama's House and board director, and luncheon speaker Larry Elder, attorney, best-selling author, and radio and TV talk show host.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARC GLASSMAN
Mama’s House became the first organization in the Coachella Valley to conduct its annual fundraiser event in person in mid-April, giving attendees a chance to meet the two guests of honor — former NFL running back Herschel Walker and radio and TV personality Larry Elder — at both a VIP dinner followed the next day by the Heartbeat of Love luncheon at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Indian Wells.
Walker, the Heisman Trophy winner in 1982 who enjoyed a 14-year pro career, encouraged the luncheon audience to have faith during the challenges brought on by the pandemic, seek the truth, and be willing to put in the hard work.
“We got to have faith,” Walker said. “We got to have faith that's so strong that we won't give up. We got to have truth. We got to have truth that we believe in each other and we love each other. And we can overcome whatever. In today's world, there's people out there who want to take something that they didn't earn it. They don't want to work for it. They want you to give it to them. But that's not what life is about. God always said you don't want to just give a man a fish; teach him to fish. And that's what we're doing wrong in this country today. We want to give them stuff all the time. But hard work will be done to make it better.”
Elder added the the No. 1 problem facing the country is not systemic racism, but the absence of fathers to assist in raising their children. Elder spoke about the relationship he had with his own father, how they did not speak for 10 years, and finally in his mid-20s they met and he learned the harsh reality his father encountered after serving in the military.
"There's nothing to forgive,” Elder really his father saying. “You were young. You didn't know, but follow the advice I've always given you and your brothers. Hard work wins. You get out of life what you put into it. Larry, you do not control the outcome, but you are 100 percent in control of the effort, and before you bitch, moan, and whine about what someone did to you or said to you, go the nearest mirror and say to yourself, 'What could I have done to change the outcome?'"
Mama’s House, which provides shelter for women in crisis pregnancies, is on the cusp of expanding its facility in Palm Desert that will allow the organization to handle four times the number of residents and babies. An auction held during the luncheon helped raise funds for the phase one construction planned, including a football and jersey signed by Walker.
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