Vikings fans participating in the #MoreThanWords campaign tripled their results this year to make an impact in the Twin Cities community.
A **unique autograph signing** with Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer at FanHQ in July brought in nearly $9,000. The additional $6,000-plus was donated by Vikings fans all over the world.
"We started all this so we could keep Vicki's name alive, keep her spirit and her memory alive, and do good things with it," Zimmer said at the autograph event. "We want to help kids in Minnesota particularly. I think this is a great way to do both of those things."
According to the Mike Zimmer Foundation website, all donations received from fans – through #MoreThanWords or otherwise – will help promote a healthy, active lifestyle for youth as well motivate less-fortunate youth and "help them chase their dreams." Plans of the foundation, led by Zimmer's daughter, Corri, include college scholarships and free youth football clinics, among other things.
"Vikings fans are really the best in the league," Corri said.
Vikings Territory founder Adam Warwas, who started the #MoreThanWords concept, said it will continue to be an annual effort. A number of platforms have already contacted Warwas about being involved in next year's fundraiser.
"We all contributed to an effort of positive coverage and heightened awareness of this charitable venture undertaken by Coach Zimmer and his family," Warwas said. "I'm already dreaming and scheming about how the 2017 #MoreThanWords campaign could be even better and accomplish even more."
He added: "Thank you all for everything you did to help make this year such a successful one before even one snap of football has been played."
View images of Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer signing autographs for fans at a Fan HQ event in Eden Prarie to support the Mike Zimmer Foundation. (Korey McDermott)