CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has traded black and blue for burgundy and gold and held a huge yard sale to get rid of Panthers gear and to give back to the community.
A line with thousands of Panther fans stretched from the Charlotte Humane Society’s front doors all the way back to Remont Road.
That’s about a quarter of a mile of fans waiting patiently for an autograph, a picture and a chance to raid Rivera’s closet.
“This is an opportunity to give back one last time and give the folks a chance to have some of the stuff that we had, and so we’re kind of grateful that there’s a good turnout for the humane society,” said Rivera.
The humane society has been one of the charities that the Riveras have devoted themselves to in their near-decade in Charlotte.
“To be able to share this facility and the disrepair that it’s in is really important to us because a lot of people just don’t know,” said Donna Stucker, vice president of philanthropy.
This idea came from Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s wife, Tammy Reid, who organized a yard sale like this when they left Philadelphia after 13 years. The Reids’ raised $30,000 for charity, and the Riveras hope to do the same.
“We’re trying so hard to get this facility built for the humane society. Maybe that will help, and sure enough, we’ve got crowds of people. They’re going to get some good Panther gear, and they’re going to see why they need a new facility,” said Stephanie Rivera.
In all, more than $30,000 was raised and more than 3,000 fans attended the event.
Ron Rivera signed a five-year contract with the Washington Redskins and has since moved to the Virginia area.