Chargers great and future NFL Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson held his inaugural LT5K at NTC Park in Liberty Station on Saturday morning to benefit Tomlinson’s Touching Lives Foundation.
The family friendly event included music, a complimentary food court, a kids fun zone, an awards ceremony and an autograph booth. Former Chargers David Binn, John Carney Hank Bauer, Tomlinson and current running back
“This is a different type of event,” Tomlinson said. “It’s really a family event. Kids also run. A whole family sometimes that runs. Along with the Tomlinson’s Touching Lives Foundation, getting in the community and helping build learning centers, after-school programs, that’s something very important to my foundation. I grew up in an after-school program, so I know the benefits of being a part of such programs. So we want to do the same thing here in San Diego.”
Though Tomlinson does not live in San Diego full-time, he feels the need to help out children in San Diego.
“This is my second home,” Tomlinson said. “I made a career here playing football and so I’ve always done things in this community. I’m going to continue to do that.”
Now with more time on his hands after retiring nearly a year ago, LT is able to donate more time to Tomlinson’s Touching Lives Foundation, which engages in programs to promote educational, social and cultural awareness and positive self-esteem in the lives of children and the community. The proceeds from Saturday’s 5K directly benefitted LT’s Learning Centers and LT’s Helping Hands Program.
“That type of stuff is big to me,” Tomlinson said. “It’s kind of rooted in me growing up. So fighting childhood hunger is something that’s huge for me. I had friends that were directly impacted; homeless friends that my mom took in to help out. Those are the type of things that I’m talking about when I say give back to the community.”
Bauer, who played six seasons for the Chargers, served as the master of ceremonies and emphasized how happy he was to be a part of the event
”It’s all about the charity,” Bauer said. “It’s all about having fun. The Chargers are being very well represented out here. When you look at guys that were active in the community and were that special athlete that bonded with the community in a very, very unique way – I can name Tony Gwynn, LaDainian Tomlinson,
Tomlinson belongs in that very special class.