By Mick Holien
The Long family, part-time residents of the Finley Point area east of Polson, has long been known for its philanthropy .. No let me put that another way – Howie, the NFL Hall of Famer, and his wife Diane, have long been philanthropic without being recognized for their contributions.
And while the Longs have been a perennially strong supporter of the Mission Valley’s Boys and Girls Club, son Chris, a 10-year NFL veteran now playing for Philadelphia, received his recent share of notoriety initially for sharing a teammate’s protest of unjust treatment of minorities by police then for his financial contributions to non-profits.
The second pick in the 2008 draft selected by the Rams, Chris donated his first six NFL paychecks to scholarships at a private school in Charlottesville, the Virginia town he grew up in that was besieged by rioting.
He donated his last 10 game checks to educational charities in the three NFL towns he has played in. Two years ago, according to the New York Times, Chris started a foundation that supports causes like worldwide access to clean water, supporting veterans and fighting homelessness. His 2017 salary was $1 million.
The Long family has been summer staples in the Polson area, sometimes participating in the Three-On-Three Basketball Tournament or competitively bowling a game or two.
And while Chris is a robust 6-3, younger brother Kyle, who plays for the Bears goes 6-6. Youngest son Howie Jr. recently went to work as an intern in Oakland, where his father earned his Hall of Fame stripes and a Super Bowl ring.
Strong advocates and supporters of the purchase and remodeling of the Ronan club, the Longs previously donated a $1million to Villanova, their Alma Mater.
Along with Kyle, Diane participated in a first-ever panel discussion hosted by the Bears about football safety. Attended by some 200 women and co hosted by the wives of Mike Golic and Connie Payton it dealt with proper tackle technique and equipment and hydration. One would have to believe a mom with three sons, two of whom are playing in the League would lend additional credibility to the discussion which she hopes will further the discussion in advance of youngsters engaging on the gridiron.
Married since 1982, Diane Addonizio met Long when the two were in college. she had her own football card, published by Pro Line in 1992.
Let’s face it; it is also nice to be able to say such a family is summer residents of the berg in which we live.