MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr is a former first-round draft pick and made his first Pro Bowl for his play during the 2015 season.
Yet despite all of Barr’s football accomplishments, Lori Barr was most proud of her son for what he did Monday night for single mothers in the Twin Cities community.
The linebacker’s Raise the Barr foundation hosted its first holiday party and fundraiser at a downtown hotel as a way to give back to a cause near and dear to the Barr family.
“We’ve had a lot of proud moments in our family over the last four or five years, and course raising a child you have all of those proud moments,” Lori Barr said. “But tonight is really one of those that I’m most proud of … it’s a moment that exceeds all others.”
Raise the Barr partnered with The Jeremiah Program to help provide financial assistance with higher education and childcare for single mothers.
Lori Barr was 20 years old when she had Anthony in Indiana before the two eventually settled in Southern California.
Barr went on to be an All-American linebacker at UCLA before the Vikings drafted him ninth overall in 2014.
“I’m extremely proud of her and what she’s accomplished,” Barr said. “She always put me in a position to win and be successful.
“That’s what tonight is about, hopefully we can provide opportunities for the next person,” he added. “I can’t thank her enough for everything she’s done for me and our family … this is just a little way to give back to her.”
Lori Barr said help from a foundation such as Raise the Barr would have been a relief to her when she was trying to raise Anthony in the 1990s.
“There’s a lot of struggles that come with being a single parent, whether it’s a single mom or single dad,” Lori Barr said. “When you’re raising a boy as a single mom, it’s difficult because you have concerns of how that young boy is going to grow up into a young man.
“I didn’t always have the right tools to show him how to do that. It was very challenging but I was lucky to have the support of my family and loved ones close to me,” she added. “Not every mom has that and so that’s kind of where Raise The Barr comes in. We can fill in those gaps … whether it is help with childcare or help with education-related expenses, we’re going to be there to walk that journey with that mom and let her know that she’s not alone.”