As the Holiday Season began in 2008, one journalist in Cleveland decided to bring Thanksgiving in different than usual. Instead of the fear instilling stories which were prevalent in much of the media at that time, Toni Garbo, who was a managing news editor decided to spread joy and hope with her new custom wristband, which she had created with the words “Thank You God, I am Grateful”.
She had been watching the various celebrity award shows which air during the last months of the year. As she watched many of the celebrities stand up and thank God for everything they had accomplished she was touched that they would do so in front of the world, and decided to order the wristband for herself. She had so many people comment on the wristband. After people’s comments, she ordered a thousand in black and gray. She gave them to political figures, journalists, TV executives, celebrities, soldiers, students, and many more people.
But her message didn’t stop there. Members of the Ohio State Buckeyes Football Team got wind of Garbo’s wristband, and wanted some themselves. They began to wear the “Thank You” band on and off the field. The Associated Press eventually photographed one of the Ohio State players making a catch while wearing the “Thank You God, I Am Grateful” bands on both arms.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are not the only sports team with members who wear or have worn custom bracelets for one cause or another. In 2007, Terrell Owens, wide receiver of the Dallas Cowboys was known for wearing a dark green rubber bracelet with the phrase “I own the guy guarding me” inscribed on it. The phrase came from a quote from Michael Jordan.
Another well-known campaign from the sports world which featured the custom bands was the intentions of the 2007 receiver for the Denver Broncos, Brandon Marshal, in memory of his fallen team mates. Both Darrent Williams and Damien Nash died that season. Williams died from a gunshot to the neck after a scene at a club, and Nash collapsed in his home of what was called “natural causes”. Marshall had been with both men just before their deaths.
Marshall had intended to wear a memorial Reminderband for each man during every game of that season. The emotional toll began to get to him, however, and he placed the bands in a trophy case in his home, where he would remember the men always, but could still focus on the game.
At the 2005 Pro Bowl and Pro Bowl festivities in Honolulu, Hawaii, twenty football players from the NFL wore reminder bands to show their support of United States troops. Aside from those twenty, many more NFL players have worn the wristbands to support the US military including such names as Michael Irvin, Ahman Green, Daunte Culpepper, Sam Adams, Steve Atwater, Mitch Berger, Kris Brown, Mike Golic, Tony Gonzalez, Ted Hendricks, Warren Moon, Mishin Mihammed, Ed Reed, Ike Reese, Lito Sheppard, Tra Thomas, and Jeremiah Trotter.
Back in 2005, both Anthony Clark and Mike O’Malley of the then popular television show ‘Yes Dear’ heard about the “Bands for Freedom” foundation’s support of the United States troops. They decided to show their support of the effort, and added their names to the online list of celebrity supporters for the cause. Many other celebrities jumped on the bandwagon and began to wear the bands in support of the troops. Micheal Keaton, Ernie Hudson, Kimberley Locke, and Christina Milian are just a few who also wore the bands.