Former Vikings Player Speaks at School Fundraiser

The 15-year NFL veteran spoke about his Catholic background.

DULUTH, Minn. – Former Minnesota Vikings center Matt Birk was the keynote speaker at the Stella Maris Academy’s second annual fundraising dinner, with all of the proceeds going to scholarships for their students.

The academy is a Catholic school that has three different campuses in Duluth and is for students pre–kindergarten through eighth grade.

There is a tuition rate for students who attend the school, which is why this fundraiser at Greysolon Ballroom is so crucial to those families.

“What’s so amazing about this night is not just the financial benefit of bringing our community together and the generosity of their donations, but it’s the people that are so committed and believe so much in Catholic school education,” President of Stella Maris Academy Hilaire Hauer said.

Birk played for the Vikings for a decade before playing for the Baltimore Ravens for the final four years of his career. Birk was a six time Pro Bowl selection and a Super Bowl champion. The Minnesota native owed a lot of his success on the field to his Catholic background, which is why it was so important to him to give back.

“When I was a student in grade school and high school, I relied, my family relied on financial aid to make that possible for my brothers and me. Faith is the most important thing to me. Those pilings of my faith were driven deep in Catholic school so it just seems natural for me to try to use my gifts to give back and give that opportunity to other people,” Birk said.

Organizers said that over 250 people came to this year’s fundraiser.

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