CaringBridge Teams With Vikings For New Website Style

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 27, 2011 – 3:40 pm

The following is a press release from CaringBridge:

CaringBridge, a Minnesota-based nonprofit providing personal websites that connect family and friends during a health challenge, has partnered with the Minnesota Vikings to add a Minnesota Vikings website style to its robust style library through a generous in-kind gift of their logo and intellectual property. Now Vikings fans who are sharing their health journey on CaringBridge can show their purple pride by selecting the Minnesota Vikings website style.

“We’re excited to team up with the Vikings to uplift fans who are facing a health journey,” said Sona Mehring, founder and CEO of CaringBridge. “Being able to create an individual, unique experience on their CaringBridge site is very important to our users and we continue to expand our options for personalization.”

“We are honored to know Vikings fans will have an opportunity to create a Vikings-themed page for their CaringBridge site,” said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley. “The Vikings are an important part of many people’s lives. If we can lift someone’s spirits in any way, we want to do that.”

Personal CaringBridge websites save time and emotional energy by centralizing communication during situations such as cancer, premature birth and serious injury. Authors add health updates and photos to share their story while visitors leave messages of love, hope and compassion in the guestbook.

Since CaringBridge was founded in 1997, more than 290,000 CaringBridge websites have been created. Each day over half-a-million people connect through CaringBridge to give their support to loved ones.

About CaringBridge
CaringBridge provides free websites that connect people experiencing a significant health challenge to family and friends. Its mission is to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier. The free service is made possible by the generosity of donors. For more information, visit

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Erin Henderson Launches Foundation 50 in Support of Sickle Cell Research

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 27, 2011 – 8:00 am

Erin Henderson is an emerging contributor on the Vikings defense, as his ascension from an undrafted free agent to a starting linebacker continues this season. Henderson’s contributions to the Vikings on the field are matched by his passion for helping others off the field, too.

Henderson launched his foundation – “Foundation 50″ – earlier this year with the goal of spreading awareness of sickle cell disease (SCD) and raising funds to support research programs and ultimately find a cure.  Foundation 50′s signature event this year will occur on Halloween, and you have an opportunity to participate.

This Halloween Henderson is offering Twin Citians a tasteful alternative to vampires and goblins with his “Out for Blood” fundraising event. The “Out for Blood” event will not only serve as the foundation’s signature fundraising event, but also educate attendees on how they can play a role in helping those who suffer from SCD through donating blood.

“Sickle cell disease affects millions of people around the world and has been prevalent in the African American community,” Henderson said. “I’m incredibly fortunate that football has given me a platform to build awareness for this disease and hope others in the Twin Cities will join me and my teammates on Halloween to help raise money to help fight for Sickle Cell Disease.”

The “Out for Blood” event, slated for 6-9 p.m. on Monday, October 31 at Sopranos Italian Kitchen in St. Louis Park, will feature great food from Sopranos’ executive chef, wine pairings from the restaurant’s extensive wine list and other local wineries, and unique interaction with Vikings players and coaches. The evening will also include a short program and silent auction, with proceeds benefiting Henderson’s Foundation 50.

Tickets for the event begin at $100 for an individual, with sponsorship packages including event tickets, autographed merchandise, recognition in the program and other benefits beginning at $1,200.

More On Foundation 50
Henderson’s Foundation 50 works to build awareness and find a cure for SCD through innovative programming, with a special emphasis on children and families affected by the disease. Support for Henderson’s efforts has been provided through partnerships with the University of Minnesota’s Amplatz Children’s Hospital, Memorial Blood Centers, the Viking’s Children’s Fund, Sickle Cell Disease Advocates of Minnesota and Farmer Hat Productions.

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After Hard Work, Rookie WR Stephen Burton Gets An Opportunity

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 27, 2011 – 6:54 am

On Wednesday we discussed the possibility of Greg Camarillo’s role with the team increasing, in part because of the Vikings decision to release WR Bernard Berrian. But Berrian’s release presents another Vikings WR with a big opportunity, too.

Rookie Stephen Burton, who was selected by the Vikings in last April’s draft with a 7th-round pick (#236 overall) out of Division II West Texas A&M, was promoted from the practice squad to fill Berrian’s vacant spot on the active roster. Burton is now the 9th of 10 Vikings draft picks from last April to make the active roster.

As Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune pointed out, Burton’s promotion to the active roster comes roughly 6 months after he received a call from the Vikings notifying him that he’s been drafted.

“That draft call was incredible,” Burton told Wiederer. “Because of the lockout, if you went undrafted, it would have been months of not knowing if you’d get an opportunity. So for me, that was such a highlight. But when I got the message Tuesday about getting called up, that was a great feeling in a different way. My first thought was, ‘This is awesome.’ After all the hard work, I’m finally getting an opportunity.”

Burton stands at 6-1, 221 pounds and is a developmental prospect at the WR position. But with rookie Christian Ponder now the starting QB, the team’s record at 1-6 with the midpoint of the season around the corner and, perhaps most importantly, one of the best WR coaches in the business on staff in George Stewart, now is a great time to give a player such as Burton a chance to prove himself.

Promotion to the active roster doesn’t necessarily mean a player will be active for a game. The active roster contains 53 players, but teams are permitted to dress 46 of them on game day. So Burton could be inactive on Sundays, or his ability to impress coaches could meet a sudden need at the position, which might result in him suiting up in a game.

Increasing Burton’s chances of seeing the field on Sundays this season is his ability to perform on special teams. Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Wednesday that Burton has kickoff return capabilities, and if Burton can also display skill in kick coverage, his chances of playing will only increase.

“He’s a guy who has really grown from the time we got him to the point where we’ve been commenting about him over the last two or three weeks,” Frazier said. “He had some hamstring issues when we were in Mankato so he missed some time and we really couldn’t get a feel for where he was but once he got that injury behind him you could see the promise that he has. We’re excited to see how he performs now that he has this chance.”

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