VENICE, FL – One keen-eyed Green Bay Packers fan received quite a surprise while shopping at the Goodwill Manasota location in the Rialto Plaza on Venice Island. Justin Doyle – who is also known as Billy Jack from the Jones and Company morning show on 107.9 WSRZ – was perusing the sporting equipment section of his favorite Goodwill when a familiar shade of yellow caught his attention. A football helmet, covered in marker and glitter, looked to be in rough shape but the NFL stickers adorning the item were unmistakable.
Doyle purchased the helmet for $4.99 and took it home to research further. The helmet was not marked as game used but, after researching the stickers on the back and inside, he discovered that his Goodwill find formerly belonged to a Green Bay Packers defensive back: #37 Tyrone Williams. Using social media, Doyle reached out to Williams to confirm whether the helmet had really belonged to the player. Williams, who was shocked to hear his helmet had shown up in a Goodwill, confirmed not only that he had played in the helmet but also that it was helmet he wore in Super Bowl XXXII.
Williams has ties to the Suncoast and offered to meet up with Doyle next time he was in town to sign the helmet. Although their schedules have not synced up yet, Doyle looks forward to the day he’ll get the perfect ending to his amazing Goodwill story, which he shared with Goodwill representatives just prior to the recent Eagles-Patriots matchup in Super Bowl LII.
“The helmet is one of my absolute favorite possessions and I can thank Goodwill for that,” Doyle said. “To this day, I still shop at just about every Goodwill in our area multiple times per week. When you find a score like this, it can certainly become addicting!”
Goodwill has a long history of rare, unusual and, sometimes, shocking items being donated. Items have included valuable artwork, rare books, historical documents and musical scores, artificial limbs, pet and human ashes, and a coffin. Goodwill Manasota was recently in the news when a grenade launcher – later discovered to be an Airsoft toy – was donated in Bradenton and the police had to be called to ensure its safe removal.
“We hear so many stories of the unique items people have found in our stores,” said Goodwill Manasota vice president of operations Donn Githens. “It goes to show that you truly never know what you’ll find on a trip to Goodwill. But it’s well worth coming in and taking a look.”
For more information, or for a listing of all area Goodwill retail locations, go to experiencegoodwill.org.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2017, Goodwill Manasota served 11,672 people, placed 555 people in jobs, assisted 360 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce, and provided 19,540 hours of on-the-clock training for its employees. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 41 million pounds out of the landfill. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.