TULALIP — It’s too soon for Santa, but current and former Seahawks are expected to rev up fans, sign autographs and help bring in donations for the local Toys for Tots organization at Seattle Premium Outlets on Friday.
The Toys for Tots Donation Drive and Blue Friday Rally is scheduled for 1-8 p.m. on a stage outside the Tulalip outlet mall’s food court. Seahawks free safety Tedric Thompson, a 2017 draft pick, is due to appear at the event. Thompson is to sign autographs inside the mall for those donating new toys or cash.
Also on the rally roster are former Seahawks Eddie McMillan, Vic Minor, Shelton Robinson and Mike Tyson. The parents of current Hawks defensive end Michael Bennett and of Lawyer Milloy, a former Seahawk and University of Washington player, are scheduled to be there, too.
“Last year we served 47,616 children in Snohomish County,” said Mary Butler, now in her 10th year as Toys for Tots local coordinating officer. The national Toys for Tots Foundation is a charitable arm for the U.S. Marine Corps and Marine Reserve.
The event was first scheduled for a week ago. Butler said it was canceled for a show of solidarity by the NFL Players Association. Some NFL players have been kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. “No player is disrespecting our country or our flag,” NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith said in an Oct. 9 statement.
Butler said Toys for Tots could have held its rally without a Seahawks presence, “but we had promised to give back to the community.”
Entertainment will include karaoke with KDJ Mythikal, MC Jamz, Dan Valdes, Geoffrey the Giraffe from Toys “R” Us, and The Natural Truth (T.N.T.), a rapper who remixed Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” song to become a “Seahawks Anthem.”
“The best super-fan costume gets an autographed football,” said Butler, adding that “my Marines will also be out there.” The rally is this season’s major donation drive for kids served by Toys for Tots. “We’ve been doing this so long, we wanted to say thank you to the community,” Butler said.
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; email@example.com.
This story has been modified to reflect the fact that Seahawk Jeremy Lane will not appear.