Fundraiser benefited foundation started in memory of fallen U.Md. football player Jordan McNair

LAUREL, Md. — Maryland students filed in and out of a Chipotle in College Park to grab a bite to eat for a cause they believe in.

The Sunday evening fundraiser at the Chipotle on U.S. 1 and Knox Road will benefit The Jordan McNair Foundation. The organization was started by McNair’s parents after the 19-year-old University of Maryland football player fell ill and died of heatstroke following a preseason workout last year.

“This is one small part, one small thing that U.Md. students can do to show their support and just kind of come together as Terps, as a family, because Jordan he was one of us,” said Rohini “Ro” Nambiar, UMD senior and Student Affairs Vice President for the University of Maryland Student Government Association. She heard about the fundraiser from a flyer sent around by the SGA president.

Carli Weeks is friends with members of the football team. “They were always really passionate about what had happened, and so when they told us, ‘Hey there’s going to be a fundraiser,’ I really wanted to come out and support,” the junior told WTOP.

“I know a lot of football players that were affected personally by the whole thing that happened, so I just felt like it was kind of something I had to do to just come up and help out. And also, Chipotle is delicious, so why not,” said freshman Justin Gielen.

The line snaked out of the door at times, with a constant flow of people in and out of the restaurant. It seemed most who spoke with WTOP were there for the fundraising effort.

According to a flyer tweeted by the University of Maryland College Park student government president Jonathan Allen, 33 percent of proceeds will be donated to the foundation. 

Since McNair’s death, the university has come under fire for its response after McNair collapsed during a workout last May and died two weeks later. Several members of the coaching staff have also been fired.

One of the goals of The Jordan McNair Foundation is to prevent heatstroke and heat-related illness in student athletes by educating athletes, their parents and the football community about the symptoms.

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