George Reed is no stranger to many living in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Roughrider great and CFL Hall of Famer has dedicated his post-CFL career to charity, most notably the George Reed Foundation and its work with the Special Olympics and Saskatchewan Abilities Council.
Now, some are looking to give back to Reed. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the 80-year-old cover costs associated with physiotherapy and mobility equipment.
Reed spent 13 years with the Riders and was on the 1966 Grey Cup team.
Restauranteur Eric Johnson set up the page after a conversation with Reed, who’s a regular at Johnson’s business — Smokin’ Okies.
“I’ve seen George’s mobility deteriorate over the last several years, so I was having a conversation with him the one day and I asked him, ‘George, what would you do if money was no object to improve your mobility and recovery from your operations?’” Johnson recalled.
The GoFundMe was set up on Dec. 6 and has earned over $12,000 as of Thursday afternoon. Johnson said the response so far has been overwhelming.
In the meantime, Reed said he’s going to treatments to help regain strength in his legs. He’s undergone many surgeries, including two recent back procedures that have limited his mobility.
“Eric, he’s been a good friend of mine and everything else, so I really appreciate what he and his wife threw together and everything else, because they stepped forward to try to provide a little assistance to me as I move forward,” Reed said.
Reed has had to scale back some of his charity work to focus on his recovery. However, he’s still involved in planning a couple of his foundation’s upcoming events.
This is a major part of why Johnson felt the need to give to Reed.
“I just thought it’s time for us to give back to George,” Johnson said.