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Arizona Cardinals, Cigna donate to St. Mary's Food Bank

The Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders, Big Red and Daryl Washington present St. Mary's Food Bank with food and a $10,000 check from Cigna.(KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- St. Mary's Food Bank got a little help Tuesday gathering up some items it needs.

The food bank kicked off its "Peanut Butter and Rice To Fill Empty Tummies" campaign Tuesday and Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl linebacker Daryl Washington showed up with shopping carts filled with food and a $10,000 dollar check to the food bank from Cigna Medical Group.

Washington said he knows what it's like to be poor and hungry.

"I lived off of noodles for six or seven months straight," said Washington. "I grew up with nothing. I grew up with not having a lot of things. To be able to be in my position and to have the honor and opportunity to give back, anytime I can, I want to be able to do that."

Washington thinks all professional athletes who have made it to the top of their sport should give back to the community.

St. Mary's Food Bank said it's in desperate need of staples like peanut butter and rice. It also needs such things as tuna, diapers, canned soups, pasta and cereal.

You can donate those items at any Goodwill location in the Valley. St. Mary's food boxes are located in the front of every store.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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