Community First: The Eric & Jessie Decker Foundation
New York Jets’ wide receiver Eric Decker and his wife, country singer Jessie James Decker, were kind enough to provide a post-event interview with the Hornblower New York team after their September 29 fundraiser aboard the Hornblower Infinity for the Eric & Jessie Decker Foundation.
What was the inspiration behind establishing the Eric & Jessie Decker Foundation (EJDF)?
Jessie and I have always felt it’s important to give back to the communities where we live and where our fans are and to support causes that are close to our hearts. Jess comes from a military family and we have several dogs of our own, so collaborating with Freedom Service Dogs of America on Deckers Dogs while living in Denver was a natural fit. This spring when I joined the New York Jets and we moved to New Jersey, launching a foundation and connecting with local organizations seemed like a great way to “meet” members of our new community and to expand our impact. Jess and I were fortunate to grow up with access to arts and sports which definitely helped lead to the careers we have today. We want to give similar opportunities to kids who are not as lucky which is why we have chosen to partner with Free Arts NYC and Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation. Our 4th partner, STOMP Out Bullying, is also close to our hearts because Jess and I have both been personally impacted or seen the effects of bullying. We want to do what we can to put a stop to bullying and help victims of it.
How will EJDF contribute positively to the greater New York community?
We are going to be partnering with the amazing organizations above to not only provide financial support, but to help spread the word about their great programs. We’ll also be participating and visiting with them to hopefully help inspire participants and encourage others to get involved.
In what ways do you see EJDF evolving over the next few years? And are there any particular initiatives on the horizon associated with the foundation that you’re excited about?
It’s a brand new foundation so everything is possible! Having a daughter of our own has really brought the needs of young children to our attention. While continuing to provide support to veterans in need, I’m excited to also start working with kids and showing our own daughter the importance of helping others.
We sincerely hope that your “Welcome to New York” event for EJDF was everything you thought it would be. Looking back on it, what were your favorite aspects of Monday night’s event aboard the Hornblower Infinity?
Our favorite aspect of the night had to be dancing and mingling with everyone on board. It was important to spread the word and raise money for our foundation but we wanted to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves throughout the night. Having a good time for a great cause is what it’s all about.
Lastly, congratulations on your move to New York! We’re very excited to have you both join us in this wonderful city. What have been the most memorable experiences here since making the move?
Thank you! Just in the short time we have been here we would say this event sticks out as the most memorable experience. We are excited to be living near the city and creating wonderful memories over the years.
To learn more about the Eric & Jessie Decker Foundation, visit www.ejdeckerfoundation.com. Photos from the Eric & Jessie Decker Foundation fundraising event can be found in Hornblower’s online Media Gallery.