BURLINGTON, N.C. – National Agents Alliance’s “Coach” exited the company’s headquarters Friday morning on a mission.
He was mad and he was going to do something about it.
Coach, who generally berates agents and tests NAA Product Specialist Gina Hawks nerves, found out that 51 percent of North Carolinians are organ donors. He thought that number was too low, so he headed to Holly Hill Mall and Business Center to “encourage” people to get register for the organ donor list.
“Only half the people in my home state are on the list to be an organ donor,” Coach said before leaving red-faced and visibly irritated. “Am I supposed to be OK with that? No way! It’s my job as a coach and leader to do something to fix this problem. That’s exactly what I’m gonna do!”
“Coach” was dressed in his signature black athletic shoes and pants with a red shirt and hat. When asked why he wasn’t wearing blue and green for the cause, he wasted no time in responding.
“People need to know I’m wearing red today until I get more people on the donor list,” he said. “Maybe by the end of the day, I’ll get enough people signed up that I can switch into blue and green. Until that happens, I ain’t ditching my coaching gear.”
According to Donate Life N.C., 123,000 people are waiting for life-saving organ transplants – including 3,300 in N.C.
One person that was on that list received a life-saving transplant earlier this year, and was the reason for the benefit event. Craig Edwards, who received a donated liver in February, was on hand with “Coach” to thank people for supporting him and the donor campaign. Edwards had been diagnosed in February 2014 with severe liver cirrhosis, which was worsened by a blood clot.
The event coincided with National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, when advocacy group Donate Life urges the public to wear blue and green, hold fundraisers and partner with local businesses and organizations to promote organ, eye and tissue transplantation, and the need for registered donors.
Proceeds from the event will help Edwards’ family cope with their sole income earner being out of work since January, multiple hospital visits and the transplant. Edwards will donate some of the proceeds to Donate Life N.C.
“Coach” is the character created by NAA Creative Director Jay Daugherty. “Coach” serves as the face of NAA University, an educational program that helps NAA agents improve their insurance business. NAA President and CEO Andy Albright said he was glad to loan “Coach” to such a great cause.
“We believe in helping people, serving others and giving back to our community,” Albright said. “I have no doubt that ‘Coach’ will rally the people at this event and increase the number of organ donors in our state today. This is a great cause and we are proud of Jay for letting his character do something positive in our community.”
“Coach” wasn’t the only drawing power at the event. During the day, a silent auction, face and hair painting, T-shirt and bracelet sales and a Harlem Shake contest were among the various activities. There were also several entertainment acts and a disc jockey playing music.
For more information, visit www.prayersforcoachcraig.com.