Call it a kickoff to the "Kickoff for the United Way" luncheons. The Ravens football team helped host the first-ever luncheon, launching the 1999 United Way of Central Maryland Community Campaign.
As they arrived at the Baltimore Convention Center, 580 fans were blitzed by the Ravens cheerleaders, mascots and marching band. After going into formation for lunch, the crowd got a chalk talk from team owner Art Modell. Then the new Ravens roster debuted, with head coach Brian Billick making the calls, introducing each coach and player.
This was a game where the fans got to score as well, with Ravens players positioned at many of the guests' tables. Among the nongridders: J. Scott Wilfong, 1999 campaign chair; Larry Walton, president of United Way of Central Maryland; Bill Couper, president of Bank of America, Greater Baltimore; Margie Lavin, Bell Atlantic senior specialist; John Pearson, Baltimore Life Insurance Co. president; Scott Garceau and Tom Matte, Ravens radio commentators.
The event went all the way, raising $18,000 for local health and human-service organizations.