(Orange, Texas)

March 1, 2014

Earl Thomas III kicks off ETIII Guardian Angel Foundation

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

WEST ORANGE — Earl Thomas III kicked off ETIII Guardian Angel Foundation just one month after The Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos in the XLVIII Super Bowl.

Thomas launched the foundation at Granger Chevrolet on Thursday with a meet and greet as well as a special presentation from West Orange Mayor Roy McDonald. McDonald read a proclamation declaring Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 as Earl Thomas III Day in West Orange.

A live auction was held as well as Thomas signing autographs and taking pictures. Funds from the auction, autographs and pictures are for the benefit of the foundation.

The national foundation will make the biggest impact in Orange by helping the area’s less fortunate children.

“The foundation will be able to help those in need with school supplies,” Thomas said. “I always want to set up scholarships for band, sports and academics.”

Thomas has offered a football camp for area children in the past with a huge turnout of participants.

“For some of these kids it is a once in a lifetime event,” Thomas said. “I wish I had something like that when I was in school. It is the least I can do to give back.”

According to Thomas, many people from cafeteria workers, band members, teachers and family contributed to who he is today.

“So many people helped me,” Thomas said. “That is why I want to give back anyway I can.”

Thomas said being in the recent parade was great.

“I always dreamed of being in a parade,” Thomas said. “It was reacting the dream. The town gives 100%, above and beyond.”

Orange has shown support for Thomas since he played for the West Orange - Stark Mustangs in high school. The town continued showing support throughout his college days and as he started playing Pro football.

Thomas is a former West Orange - Stark standout and University of Texas All-American.

“I get facebook posts and tweets all season long,” Thomas said. “Especially during Super Bowl week. It is hard to keep track of how many, but it was over 2,500. This town may be small, but it is loyal.”

Thomas said he has always carried himself as a champion and as such was always preparing for the Super Bowl win.

“It is a moment I will treasure,” Thomas said.

Thomas’ mother, Debbie, said her son has a heart of gold.

“He has always loved people and giving back,” Debbie Thomas said. “He is a unique individual who always strives for excellence in everything he does.”