Hawkeyes fans pay it forward

Hawkeye Headquarters


One random act of kindness from a Hawkeye fan has inspired another.

Derek Richards of Cedar Rapids posted in the Hawkeye Heaven Facebook group saying he wanted to give away two tickets to the Penn State game to someone deserving.

More than 100 people sent their stories to Derek, but he chose Ray: a military veteran, former police officer and firefighter.

Both men insist the story revolves around the other, but really it’s about both of them.

He and his mom were buying tickets from a man for a Hawkeye basketball game.

“The guy just kind of said, ‘Oh, you know what?’ [He] just looked through his stack of tickets and grabbed a couple and gave them to us for free,” Derek said. “[He] said, ‘Enjoy the game and pay it forward some day if you have the chance.'”

So when he had extra tickets to this year’s game against Penn State, he knew he wanted to give them away.

“It was humbling like that out of all the people who are in Iowa that applied … he chose me,” Ray said.

Now Ray wants to pay it forward.

“I thought when people do good things we sometimes don’t give them enough credit,” Ray said. “So I picked my most valued collection of Hawkeye memorabilia.”

Ray decided to auction off two signed business cards, one from coach Hayden fry. The other coach Kirk Ferentz.

The money will go to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Derek’s name.

“At the end of the day, it’s about doing things for other people” Ray said. “Just giving a darn about people and I’ve just been fortunate to be put in positions where you can influence people.”

There’s another twist.

The current highest bidder says if they win, Reynolds can keep the cards. But he’s already made his mind up and said he’d display the cards in the children’s hospital.

“It is an example of how just one person doing something nice for another can blossom into something big,” Derek said.

The Penn State game is on Oct. 12. You can bid on the autographed business cards here.

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