PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

June 17, 2013

Gorrer, other pro athletes start cookout tradition

Sherry Koonce
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Whether they came to get autographs of Port Arthur’s professional athletes, to enjoy a plate of barbecue, listen to music, play games, or honor their fathers, people filled Barbara Jacket Park Saturday during the Danny Gorrer Cookout.

The Tampa Bay Buckaneers cornerback planned the first-time event to observe Fathers’ Day and Juneteenth, but it was Dads and sports that had everybody talking.

Saturday’s festivities were the first of what 29-year-old Gorrer hopes will be many more cookouts to come.

This is my way of giving back to the community, to show little kids if we can make it, they can too,” Gorrer said. “Today, we are catering to the men.”

Gorrer invited numerous professional athletes who are making, or have made their mark in professional sports, including Jamaal Charles, runningback for the  Kansas City Chiefs.

“Today, is about everybody coming together,” Charles said. “It’s good to have this event, and I am proud of what Danny did, of him bringing everybody together.”

Though his wife has a Father’s Day surprise for him, Charles said he’s just happy to be with his children.

“To see my kids when I wake up tomorrow is the best thing,” Charles said.

While the cookout was planned as a way to give back to the community, for Gorrer, who is the father of three girls, the day was special.

Not only was his father, Danny Gorrer, Sr., in attendance, so were all of his seven siblings, and his mother.

“It is important to recognize fathers  because a lot of kids grow up in single-parent households. My Dad was home, and I am thankful for that,” Gorrer said.

Danny Gorrer Sr., grew up without his father around, he said. But, once he had the opportunity to be a father himself, he made sure he was home.

“I stayed there to show the love I did not have when I was coming up,” Danny Gorrer Sr., said.

While many came to see the athletes, and to get their autographs, Milton J. Williams, 46, said he came out Saturday to visit with the senior Danny Gorrer.

“I went to school with him. Everybody knows him; he’s a good person,” Williams said.

Of his own father, Williams said he died about four years ago.

For those who still have their fathers, Williams offered some Father’s Day advice.

“Love your family and tell them you love them, and be sure tomorrow to give your father a big hug, because  you never know when it might be the last time you can,” Williams said. “I wish I could hug my Dad today.”

New York Knicks basketball player J’Covan Brown, 23, stopped by the park to visit with friends and family, and to support Danny Gorrer’s event.

“Danny has always been a good role model,” Brown said. ‘He’s calm, cool and collected.”

Brown is father to  two children, and realizes now more than ever what it means to be a role model.

“You get to be that image for them. You can’t be doing any negative things,” Brown said.

Sunday, he said, he’ll be spending time with his own father. Johnny Brown.

“We’ll play flag football, eat, and watch the game,” he said.

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