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Coach Mike Zimmer at the FanHQ event last month

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Thanks in large part to Fan HQ‘s autograph event (of which they are holding another great one for baseball fans) and the collective generosity all that chose to donate to #MoreThanWords, the great nation of Vikings fans, the 2016 version is hours away from closing up shop for the year… and that $10,000 goal is officially in the dust.

As of this posting, the campaign has raised $14,602 which will go directly to the Mike Zimmer Foundation. In addition to the money raised which will benefit the youth supported by the Foundation, an impact has been felt in a number of additional ways that really help describe what inspired this effort while also defining what it means going forwards.

In due time I hope we will be able to highlight all of the many people that made this event a massive success. For now, however, I want to revisit a few highlights with hopes of inspiring a few fence-sitters in getting us above the $15,000 mark by midnight.

A MILITARY MOTHER’S THANK YOU TO MIKE ZIMMER

The incredibly talented Daniel House of Vikings Corner recently spoke to a mother of a military man that credits Mike Zimmer for saving her son’s life after he struggled to return home from Afghanistan and resume life as it had been.

Luann said that after Andrew saw Mike Zimmer on that day, and raved on and on about him for several minutes, she saw a change in him. From that point on, his life changed forever. Simply seeing one of his football coaching idols brightened his day and marked the start of Andrew reestablishing his life as a civilian.

Luann actually made the trip all the way from Ohio to attend the signing event at Fan HQ in order to thank Coach Zimmer for the impact made on her son’s life. CLICK HERE to read this wonderful story from Vikings Corner.

A LOOK BEHIND THE MASK OF A VIKINGS FAN

Our own Austin Belisle recently interviewed “Sir Gruben,” a member of the Vikings World Order, who won the auction for the VIP package where he was able to meet Coach Zimmer for an extended period of time. During that moment, “Gruben” made it clear to Coach Zimmer just why it was that meeting him was so meaningful.

“It’s two months after your wife died,” Gruben told Zimmer. “Two months later, my wife died.”

Gruben wanted Zimmer to know that he understood what it means to do something in the memory of those we love.

“Sir Gruben” has an incredible story and we were lucky enough to have him share it with Vikings Territory. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of anything we’ve ever published on this site than that article from Austin, and that’s saying something since we once published an interview with Bud Grant.

FOREVER A FAMILY MAN – THE STORY OF MIKE ZIMMER

And we’re back to that talented Daniel House fellow. Daniel was able to speak with Coach Zimmer earlier this summer to find out what inspired him to start the foundation, his thoughts on the #MoreThanWords campaign, and a number of other topics.

“We were really excited about the More Than Words campaign when it started,” Zimmer answered. “All the Vikings fans have supported us really great and hopefully we can do something great for the community with the funds.”

Please check out all of Coach Zimmer’s thoughts on giving back and the #MoreThanWords fundraiser on behalf of his foundation by CLICKING HERE.

Thank you to everyone that has supported our effort this year. It has been amazing to watch these new heights be reached, use our little corner of the internet to do some good, and pool our resources to make some real magic even in the dead time of the NFL offseason. It is about the billionth reason I am proud to call myself a Vikings fan.

DONATE TO #MORETHANWORDS TODAY