Most football fans make a serious effort to get ready for the Super Bowl.
Those hosting it commonly prepare tasty food, load up on beverages, and decorate their house to make America’s most popular annual event enjoyable for a large group of guests. For the football fanatics that aren’t having others over, there are many places to watch the big game. Similar to New Years Eve, debates on where to go isn’t uncommon and choosing where to watch the Super Bowl is not typically easy.
Media coverage leading up to the game is considered ridiculous even by the biggest fans of the sport, with pre-game shows starting more than seven hours before the opening kickoff.
Much like his peers, boxer Boyd Melson’s got a lot on his mind this week however it’s not due to his undecided plan’s about what he’s doing for the game. Instead, they are because of events he’s partaking in through invitation to assist those in need.
On Monday January 27, Melson, who founded Team Fight To Walk with his best friend Christan Zaccagnino, will participate in a lobbying event in Albany, NY for Spinal Cord Injury research funding. A coalition comprised of a handful of highly influential individuals was assembled for this cause and Melson was contacted to join this team. The mission is to get Governor Andrew Cuomo to reinstate a bill already signed into legislation that allocates a percentage of each moving violation in New York State towards Spinal Cord Injury research.
Melson was asked to speak last year in Albany alongside NY State’s top Spinal Cord Injury Researchers and Physicians, and played a key role in having $2 million approved in last year’s state budget for Spinal Cord Injury research. The reinstating of the bill would equate roughly to $7.5 million annually in research funding, and this is the amount they are going for this year. The meetings will involve key legislatures within the State Assembly and Senate members in the Capitol Office Building. If successful, the potential state-provided funding could greatly assist towards finding a cure for chronic Spinal Cord Injuries.
Four days later, Captain Melson is invited to a special Mission Continues event hosted by A&E and the History Channel. The Mission Continues is an organization established to allow Post 9/11 Veterans with at least two years of service the ability to continue selfless service towards a higher purpose. They make the transition from serving their country as a member of the United States Armed Forces towards serving their communities as a citizen. During their six month fellowship with The Mission Continues, they work part time for any nonprofit willing to bring them on while The Mission Continues pays them a stipend.
Melson spent his fellowship working with The Spinal Cord Injury Project at Rutgers University as well as volunteering as an aid at Push To Walk, a Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation facility in New Jersey. The Mission Continues itself is a nonprofit founded by former Navy Seal Eric Greitens. The Mission Continues is also hosting a pre-Super Bowl dinner featuring a number of high profile politicians.
Melson, along with his brother Rudy Melson, a fellow veteran who just completed his own fellowship at the Mission Continues working with the Clinton Foundation in Manhattan, were specifically selected by Greiten’s organization to be covered by A&E and the History Channel Super Bowl weekend. For this selection, Melson and his brother will receive two tickets to the game on February 2 at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. When asked, Melson said his immediate excitement to attend was specific to think about what politicians he may be introduced to in order to expose them to Team Fight To Walk and the clinical trials he donated his fight purses towards.
Just 24 hours before the Super Bowl, Melson is participating in the annual Friendship Bowl hosted by the National Football League. The location of the game will be at a high school in New Jersey soon to be announced. Melson will be a representative on the US Ambassador team in a flag football game between US and Mexican Ambassadors. The Friendship Bowl takes place from noon until 3:30 PM on Saturday, February 1. The event is supporting the Non-Violence Project and is hosted annually by the National Football League.
“These are all incredible events that it’s an honor to be invited to,” said Melson, who gained notoriety in the sports world for donating 100% of his earnings from his purse to Justadollarplease.org in support of America’s first trial of its kind. “It is surreal that they’ve chosen me for these events. Each one is important it its own way and I plan to make a positive impact everywhere I go this week. I pray that my exposure to the various politicians at the Super Bowl will be the catalyst for something big in regards to Team Fight To Walk. We are always in the fight!”
Melson, who is an impressive 13-1-1 in the squared circle, returns to the ring Wednesday, February 12 against Mike Ruiz in the main event of the final card at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom. Tickets are available on teamfighttowalk.com.
For more information or to make a donation, go to teamfighttowalk.com or Justadollarplease.org. All specific questions about the nature of the Clinical Trial to cure Spinal Cord Injury can be sent to [email protected]