TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and his foundation, Tua’s Foundation, raised $45,000 for the Tallapoosa County Girl’s Ranch funeral and counseling. Tagovailoa announced he will match the money raised for the funeral, too.
Fans tell CBS 42 it’s actions and events like Tuesday night that show how much he means to the community.
“A wonderful example for the kids to see,” Alabama fan Chuck Heitzmann said.
‘Luau with Tua’ celebrated Polynesian culture with a luau, food, fire knife dancing, entertainment, and a silent auction to raise money for Nick’s Kids and the Boys and Girls Club of West Alabama.
“To be able to give back. And that’s what we are going to do tonight,” Tagovailoa said.
Fans like Chuck and Susan Heitzmann say Tua is a great model for Alabama and Hawai’i.
“And having lived in Hawaii, we’re just very proud of Tua,” Susan Heitzmann said.
Fan Greg McGraw says he’s been of Tua since he arrived in Tuscaloosa and that his family has truly embraced the state.
“His whole family has come together here in Alabama. And I think they’ve embraced Alabama as much as Alabama has embraced them,” McGraw said.
Tagovailoa says he wants to continue to give back to the community that has meant so much to him.
“For Coach Saban, I think the best way for me to be able to give back to him is to give back toward’s his foundation,” Tagovailoa said.
Fans remain proud of all Tua has done for the area and know he will continue to make them proud off the field.
“We are Alabama. We are Hawaii. Roll Tide!” Heitzmann said.
Tuesday night’s luau was the first event the foundation held since relaunching in February, as they focus their efforts in Alabama, Florida, and Hawaii.