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Ickey shuffles away with cash for a cause

Former Bengal star visits city for charity


Former Cincinnati running back Ickey Woods shows off a collection of autographed photos and sports memorabilia from his playing days to Bellefontaine residents Bivian and Jose Trevino and their daughter Marissa on Saturday afternoon at Wal-Mart. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

Ickey Woods shuffled into Bellefontaine over the weekend and shuffled back out with a fair amount of cash to support his charitable organization.

Local residents got a chance to meet the former Cincinnati Bengals running back as he signed autographs and sold memorabilia this weekend at Wal-Mart.

“Michael Wiley and Pete Johnson (other retired NFL players taking charity fundraising on the road) came here a few weeks ago and said the people here were great,” Mr. Woods said about his decision to bring his fundraiser to Bellefontaine. “I talked to the manager and he said come on out; they’re all about helping people.”

His charity is the Jovante Woods Foundation, which was the name of his 16-year old son who died of complications from asthma in 2010.

The money raised, which totals more than $40,000 to date, supports not only asthma research, but another cause that was close to Jovante’s heart.

“Unbeknownst to me and his mom, he checked the box on his driver’s license to be an organ donor and was able to save four lives,” Mr. Woods said. “So we also give money to support organ donation.”

To raise the cash, he was selling autographed photos from his playing days and other memorabilia, including T-shirts that featured slogans from the Ickey Shuffle touchdown dance he was known for during his career.

It gave residents like Bivian and Jose Trevino an opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping, but others saw it as a way to support a cause by adding a few dollars to the jar.

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