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Orakpo, Redskins Tee Off Against Leukemia


Update: Yesterday's event drew 43 players and coaches from the Redskins organization, making it the biggest in event history.  The $200,000 that the event raised was also a record, and vastly exceeded the $130,000 raised in 2011.  Since 2006, the event has now raised more than $1.2 million for the National Capital Area Chapter.

No ominous weather could keep the Redskins off the links today, as teammates turned out in support for Brian Orakpo's charity golf classic, which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The event was started by Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell in 2006, and has raised over $1 million for the National Capital Area Chapter.  This was Orakpo's second season as the host, and he thanked his teammates for giving generously of their time.

"It's great to have the support of my teammates, and it's nice to see this event turning into a Redskins tradition," Orakpo said.  "It's phenomenal.  Coach Shanahan gaves us all the opportunity to come out here, and it shows that we're all family."

Fans were given the opportunity to sign up and play 18 holes with Redskins players.  Head coach Mike Shanahan gave the team the option of supporting the event in exchange for working out at the facilities.

For Shanahan, the decision was a no-brainer, and he was pleased to see so many players bonding over a good cause.

"Any time you look at our position in society, where we can raise some money and help some people, that's something that we like to do," he explained.  "Obviously, the Redskins are involved in a lot of charities, and this is an important one for us."

The star of the show was Washington-native Zane Mosby, age 9, who was diagnosed with Leukemia at age 5.  His struggle with cancer took a happy turn last summer, when he learned that his cancer was finally in remission.

Today, Zane was the Honored Hero, but he acted like any other boy surrounded by his football idols.

"It was just amazing, all around," Mosby said of meeting Orakpo.  "It was an awesome feeling."

Orakpo reciprocated the awe, putting the importance of football in perspective.

"The game we play means nothing compared to the battle that little Zane goes through everyday," he said  "He's a wonderful kid with a lot of confidence and heart.  Hopefully he can live his life now, and I'm very happy for him."

According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, more than 1 million Americans suffer from blood cancers.  Together, with help from the Redskins, the society is researching and working to find a cure.

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