Raiders Sign for Toys in Hayward


DE Richard Seymour, CB Chris Johnson and Hall of Fame cornerback and current assistant coach Willie Brown signed autographs at the Southland Mall Raider Image store in Hayward, Calif., in support of the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign.

Coach Brown, said before the event, "Hopefully they can appreciate what we are doing, have a good time, get an autograph, and bring a toy out for the kids."

The Raider Nation did not disappoint.

This is the second event in consecutive weeks that the fans had an opportunity to meet current or former Raider players and have an opportunity to donate a toy for a child. Last week fans were able to meet Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens, and Zach Miller at NewPark Mall in Newark, Calif.

One of those fans who attended last week's Toys for Tots event was Mario Cassini, who arrived extra early to ensure his spot in line. "I came here at 10 o'clock this morning, eight hours before the event. I love football and I love the Raiders. I came out today to get autographs and to help the kids. It is a two way street," Cassini explained.

Of the players that were at the event, Cassini was most excited to meet Raiders Legend Willie Brown, with whom he has a now autographed photo with.

To Coach Brown though, coming out to events such as Toys for Tots and spending time with the community is his pleasure.

"I just try to do whatever I can for the community. There are a lot of unfortunate kids and families out there that need toys, that need food, and that need Christmas things. If I can help someone out in need, I am here to do it," Brown said.

One player trying to emulate the great Willie Brown on the field and now off it is Raiders CB Chris Johnson. This year Johnson has attended numerous community events such as Gatorade Junior Training Camps and the 50th Anniversary of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute. Now he can add 2009 Toys for Tots to that list.

Johnson said, "It's really just all about giving back. A lot of people aren't able to give their kids toys for Christmas so anything that can help another kid; this is what this event is for. Johnson added, "The Raider Nation is good in their fan base so anytime we can come out and have support from them it's excellent."

One of the newest Raiders, DE Richard Seymour, got his first chance to interact with the Raider Nation up close and personal off of the football field.

"The Raider Nation has always been one to deal with," Seymour said. "I have been on the opposite side coming into the Black Hole playing there. Now I have an opportunity to be a part of it and put on the Silver and Black."

Fans lined up around the corner to be able to meet No. 92 and it was worth it considering the purpose of the event.

Seymour said, "I think it is a great event that we are doing now just being out in the community. I have four kids of my own and I can only imagine what Christmas would be like if they didn't have anything. If I can do anything to give back that is what it is all about."

Helping the event run smoothly were volunteers from Kohl's department stores. Richard Garcin and his A-Team have been to numerous other Raider events, helping make sure that the fans get the most out of the experience.

"We want to make sure it is a joyful event for everyone that gets in line and participates," Garcin explained. "We are involved in many different volunteer programs. It is a great feeling. Doing something positive for the community and being out here as a representative of Kohl's, it is nice."

It's not too late to be a part of Toys for Tots 2009.

Groups of 10 or more can also buy tickets to the last home game against the Baltimore Ravens. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Toys for Tots Program. This offer is only available by calling 1-800-RAIDERS.

You can also make a donation online today in $1 increments to help send a child to the final home game against the Baltimore Ravens. Click here to donate online...

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