Gene Stallings shares why Rise Center support is personal

Thursday afternoon, former University of Alabama head football coach Gene Stallings spoke with WVUA News 23 about why he continues to support the University of Alabama Rise Center. Stallings is a longtime advocate for the center and explained to Mary Barron why this program means so much to him.

“We wish we would have had something like that when Johnny was a little boy, but we didn’t,” Stallings said. “He loved to go to the Rise program. He felt like it was his school and that the Rise school belonged to him. And every time I come I can’t keep from being just a little sentimental because Johnny loved it so much.”

Upon arrival at the university, Stallings became a major advocate for the Rise Center, in support of his son John Mark, who was born with down syndrome.

The Rise Center is hosting its annual Chip in for Rise fundraiser. Rise Center Director Andi Gillen said this fundraiser means families have access to quality education.

“The Rise program is one of eight across the country and we are the only program left in the country that doesn’t charge tuition to families with special needs. So this event ensures that we can continue to do that every year,” said Gillen.

The Chip In For Rise event featured a silent auction that supported the students at the center and the Rise Tournament of Champions Golf Tournament.

Categories: Featured, Local News