CHARACTER COUNTS

Cardinals’ Greg Dortch, Antoine Wesley leave mark on local elementary

Sep 13, 2022, 7:20 AM

Arizona Cardinals WRs Antoine Wesley and Greg Dortch present a check for $10,000 to Adams Elementar...

Arizona Cardinals WRs Antoine Wesley and Greg Dortch present a check for $10,000 to Adams Elementary. The duo also handed out backpacks to every student in attendance on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Mesa. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

MESA — A tough Arizona Cardinals loss to the Kansas City Chiefs a day prior didn’t stop Greg Dortch and Antoine Wesley from giving back.

The duo, along with mascot Big Red, had the kids of Adams Elementary in Mesa in an absolute frenzy Monday.

Dortch and Wesley spent a good chunk out of their mornings passing out backpacks to every student, on top of presenting a $10,000 check on behalf of the team and Albertsons/Safeway. Five other Valley schools will also receive gift cards to purchase school supplies.

The importance of the event wasn’t lost on Dortch or Wesley, who were fully immersed with the 700-plus kids in attendance, whether it was signing autographs, giving high fives, chatting it up or watching Big Red do the Griddy at kids’ requests.

The duo took it upon themselves to give those in attendance a lasting memory.

It was a humbling experience for Dortch, who remembers when he was in their shoes as a young kid looking up to those who came before him.

“It means everything. I had this growing up and it was crazy to see guys come back and give back to the community,” Dortch said. “It just showed that I could do the same thing when I got older. It feels really good to give back to the kids. It’s Monday morning and we’re bringing some juice, so it feels really good.

“I definitely think it goes further than what I really think it does,” the wide receiver added. “Just seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces, you can tell that this means something to them.”

For Wesley, it’s about giving something he himself did not have growing up in Las Vegas.

And as important, it’s about setting a good example for kids in the Valley and his 11 siblings.

“I always wanted to show them the right way and be there for them and anything they needed,” Wesley said. “I see them as my little brothers and sisters. I’m really excited to be giving back today.”

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