There is a definite allure to the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®. Famous folks from coast to coast; and, suburban “newbies” from “down in the city” ask the same question over and over: just what is it that those Valley people do up there in Winchester every spring that draws hundreds of thousands of people? What’s going on up there? Determined to answer that question for himself, Robert Griffin, Jr., husband of Prayer Brunch Speaker, Jackie Griffin; and, father of Redskin Quarterback, Robert Griffin III [RG3]; will himself travel to Winchester to see what the buzz is all about. He will not simply be attending the Festival as his wife’s escort. He is taking his own place at the Festival as a Featured Sports Celebrity; and, he will address the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast on Saturday morning, May 3rd, as a coach and as a respected sport motivator.
Mr. Griffin has a long history of working with the youth in his communities: from youth sports, to youth counseling, to improving their vision and their feeling of self-worth as they become increasingly aware of the size and scope of the world around them. His is, of course, proudest of being the primary trainer/developer of one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the National Football League: his own son, Robert Griffin III [RG3].
Mr. Griffin’s Texas Youth Organization in Sports has taught youth to win by respecting everyone’s abilities; by practicing sportsmanship; and, by helping them learn “life lessons” and positive character traits through sports involvement. His youth organization was funded by the work of the young people themselves and their parents as they participated in joyful and rewarding fundraising experiences. Mr. Griffin operated his church youth basketball program for five years, mentoring adult coaches in the “ins and outs” of nurturing and developing the youthful spirit for competitive play in three age divisions from 5 to 13 years, and a High School Division. Mr. Griffin conducted a free basketball camp in the Central Texas Townships of Copperas-Killeen and Fort Hood for fifteen straight years, averaging 150 youth each year, ranging in age from 5 to 18. He also mentored youth at three Elementary Schools in Copperas and at Fort Hood. He also led adolescent group counseling after school for behavior-challenged children, and for the “children in crisis” of deployed active duty soldiers.
On July 22, 2002, the Mayor and Council Members of Copperas honored Mr. Griffin’s Five Hills Track & Field Club with an official “Public Recognition Send-Off” to the 2002 AAU Junior Olympics in Knoxville, Tennessee. On July 25, 2003 the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, saluted the Five Hills Track and Field Club with a caption on the Seal of Texas Outstanding Accomplishments Certificate that states: “Competitive track and field events require discipline, diligence and the will to succeed – all traits key to lifelong success, both on and off the track.” Although he currently spends time on the east coast, Mr. Griffin continues his heavy involvement with his Texas youth organization, developing track and field workouts, and mentoring parents and coaches in the difficult process of maintaining their humility as their children grow in social standing and competitive skill.
In Washington, D. C., he is currently involved in raising awareness of the Foundation Schools, which the Washington Post named as “last chance schools before the streets” for mentally-disturbed students in kindergarten through 12th grade. He mentors and brings in other professionals to help raise the vocational mindset of these under-privileged students. Robert Griffin, Jr., feels tremendously blessed for 25 years of marriage to his help-mate: his wife, Jackie. He is justifiably proud of his son and his two daughters and of being a U. S. Army veteran. Both he and his wife, Jackie, were born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.