Mark Sanchez always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Though he never became a firefighter, he continues to help those in need -- in his own way.
The Jets quarterback partnered with German fashion and lifestyle house Hugo Boss Friday in Manhattan to donate two checks worth $50,000 to Tuesday's Children, a nonprofit organization that supports families impacted by the Sept. 11 attacks.
Hugo Boss, which supplied the clothes for Sanchez’s September GQ cover shoot, also matched the quarterback’s $25,000 donation.
“I’ve been so welcomed here at Hugo Boss and I’m so thankful to them,” said Sanchez, who took a helicopter to the event. “…To be able to raise the type of money we did, help the people and finally meet the people that you’re helping, was great.”
Sanchez’s father, Nick, is a fire captain for the Orange County Fire Authority and a member of the national urban search and rescue team.
Though his father never was called to Ground Zero, he did aid in the recovery relief after the Oklahoma City bombing and Hurricane Katrina.
“It really does hit home,” Sanchez said of Friday’s charity event, “because you see someone you look up to and a family member and a parent leave to help others. It’s hard because you want them at home, you want him at your games, but you know he’s helping a good cause. …It means the world to me to help people like my dad does – in a different way, but still help.”
The NFL and the NFLPA will donate $1 million to memorials and charities, including Tuesday’s Children, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.
On Wednesday, the Jets visited Ground Zero and viewed the construction of the 9/11 memorial. To the players’ surprise, workers stopped working and shouted the J-E-T-S chant.
“They appreciated us being there but we took so much for from them,” said Sanchez. “That was pretty special for us.”
Sanchez -- who recently unveiled a T-Shirt (designed with the help of MuzeClothing) to aid the New York Police and Fire Widows & Children’s Benefit Fund – also spoke briefly yesterday about the Jets’ quarterback situation.
Not only does he think No. 2 quarterback Mark Brunell will be ready to go for the season opener against Dallas, he also gave second-year O-lineman Vladimir Ducasse his vote of confidence.
“That was a big showing for him. He’s still doing really well. He’s improving every day. But it’s a tough position to come in and play on our team with a complicated offense, a difficult scheme, facing a defense that we play every day – that’s probably Top 5 in the league, hands down. That’s not easy for him. But he’s doing a good job with it, and he’s learning and he’ll be there to provide us some depth.”