He last played football in 1979, but NFL Hall of Famer, Carl Eller, scored a huge win in Rochester last night for...the Gift of Life Transplant House! If you're not familiar with Carl Eller, lemme lay it out for you. Born in 1942 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, he played in the NFL 1964 to 1979, and for all of the last season, played for the Minnesota Vikings. A defensive end, he was part of the squad known as the Purple People Eaters.

But Mr. Eller wasn't at the Rochester Golf and Country Club last night as a sports legend, he was there as a part of the family, helping to raise money for the Gift of Life Transplant House. You see, it wasn't that long ago he had a bone-marrow transplant and in 37 days, Carl and his wife Molly became another member of the ever growing family receiving the Gift of Life.

CARL ELLIS - GOLTH Golf Dinner 08

The headline mentions a win...what was the win? First, it was the larger-than-life Carl Eller being auctioned off. Doug Graff, the artist, brought the piece with him from Indiana for the night. Not sure what it would pick up at auction, the crowd roared as the bidding hit $1,000, then $2,000, and finally $3,000! 

The second win was the talk Carl and Molly Eller gave. Molly's perspective was the caretaker, the partner, the one watching and being there while Carl went thru it. And Carl? Well, he talked about the gift of life. All of us that have had transplants understand the gift we've been given, but last night Carl's words and emotions conveyed the reality behind our experience to everyone in the room. The vast and mighty gift recipients receive is, for most, a spiritual experience, and words cannot truly express it.

Words even failed Mr. Eller, as tears filled his eyes and voice. But in those tears, we all heard and felt the power of the gift of life.

The gift...of...life!

Carl Eller in Rochester for Big Win

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