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Area NFL players contribute to Washington benefit

Area NFL players contribute to Washington benefit

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WASHINGTON — Four current NFL players from the Pantagraph area are joining together for a Monday Night Football watch party to benefit the Washington High School athletic teams and their families.

Patriots tight end Michael Hoomanawanui of Central Catholic High School, Texans lineman Cody White of Normal West, Browns quarterback Alex Tanney of Lexington and Colts linebacker Andy Studebaker of Eureka have partnered with Echo Valley Meats to provide a home-cooked meal in front of projection screens showing Monday’s game between the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys.

“Being born and raised in Central Illinois, we wanted to create a meaningful way to help out the Washington area and school for their hard work and resilient spirit,” said Hoomanawanui.

While the four NFL players will not be able to attend the event in person, a special welcoming video will be shown before the game.

Washington suffered extensive damage when an EF-4 tornado struck the community of about 15,000 on Nov. 17.

Hoomanawanui wanted to think of a special way to provide support from afar since he could not be there helping in person on site.

“I can’t imagine going through something like that, so we hope to provide comfort and a distraction from the situation for at least one night,” said Hoomanawanui.

More than 500 people are expected to attend the 7 p.m. event at the Banquet Center of Five Points Washington. All Panthers athletic teams and their families are invited.

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