Yes it was. An organization that has always embraced the love of fans and the global community has taken it to a new level to continue the relentless drive to change the world through the Eagles Autism Foundation, understanding that, according to the CDC, 1 over 44 8-year-old children have been identified with autism and developmental disabilities. It’s a staggering statistic that clearly hits close range.

While these events offer attendees the chance to hang out with their favorite Eagles – and at Merion, the list was long, including legends like Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook, Harold Carmichael, Ron Jaworski, Jon Dorenbos (who, of course, sure, performed some acting magic at the Pairings Party on Sunday night), Donnie Jones, Chad Lewis, Brandon Brooks and others – the overriding theme was that a community affected by autism has partnered with the strength of brand Philadelphia Eagles to raise huge funds. The golf outing, as you do the math, has been an incredible source of revenue – and 100% of funds raised go directly to research and development programs – and the Celebrity Bartender’s outing has more than doubled from when it started. of 2021.

“It’s humbling, of course, to see all these people here and so excited to meet us and hang out with us,” Jason Kelce said. “More than that, it’s incredibly rewarding. Playing this game has given me the privilege to connect with millions of people and to unite. For me and for the people here, we have the chance to meet again and again and to share memories. These people have supported the Eagles for many years.

“We make a difference. You know, playing for the Eagles gives you an incredible stage. When you support causes that you believe in, that are dear to you and that mean so much to you and your family, it makes it so much more bigger than the game itself. I’m honored to be here.”

That’s really how everyone felt. Hammond has already scheduled the 2023 golf outing to Merion (June 11-12) and called it a “destination event” which in the first year attracted not only the legendary Eagles Hall of Fame lineup, but also Kelce and placekicker Jake Elliott, punter Arryn Siposs, former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, PGA Tour pro Harry Higgs and “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” creator and actor Rob McElhenney.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who used their celebrity status to bring everyone together with that personal connection,” Hammond said. “Not everyone is comfortable talking about autism. It’s very, very difficult for a lot of people. I think what we’ve been able to do is get the community accepted. There is a sense of pride in the community It’s about inclusion then acceptance We want to embrace the community and help them understand that they are not alone.

“The Philadelphia Eagles are in your corner. We’re here to hug you and give you a voice. So that was just a total commitment and we’re growing and growing as an advocate for the community. We’re stepping up wherever we can to raise the dollar, and the community has been there to support us every step of the way. We are all so grateful, so grateful.