Tacoma councilman rallies behind Kitna’s donation

Staff writerDecember 29, 2013 

Tacoma City Councilman Marty Campbell is at it again, this time with a challenge inspired by Jon Kitna’s pledge to donate his $53,000 National Football League salary to Lincoln High School.

Campbell pledged Thursday to donate $100 to Lincoln High and another $100 for every touchdown the Dallas Cowboys score while Kitna is quarterback. On Facebook, he challenged others to follow suit.

“He is going to be the backup QB, and some say it is unlikely he will play. Just as unlikely as him EVER putting on a NFL uniform after retiring three years ago,” Campbell wrote.

Others jumped in to make pledges, including Tacoma School Board member Catherine Ushka and Tacoma City Councilman-select Joe Lopez.

The Dallas Cowboys signed Kitna, a math teacher and coach at Lincoln who retired from the Cowboys after the 2011 season, after Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo had surgery that ended his season.

Within a few hours, Campbell said he had $500 in commitments whether Kitna takes the field or not. Several pledged money only if Kitna is playing when the team scores a touchdown. Campbell said he also admired Kitna’s determination.

“He kept his mind and body always prepared, and an opportunity came and he seized it,” Campbell said. “I’d love to see us raise $47,000 and make it an even $100,000 for the school.”

Campbell is a chess coach at Lincoln High School. Earlier this year, Campbell issued another challenge when he asked anyone on the Seattle City Council to play a game of chess with him, but was turned down.

The Cowboys face the Philadelphia Eagles at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. If the Cowboys lose, it’s their last game of the season. But if they win, Campbell said, the challenge will keep going.

Campbell has started a website to raise money for Lincoln High at gofundme.com/5xi2uo.

A Tacoma native and Central Washington University alum, Kitna enjoyed a long NFL career, including four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542

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