Friday, February 23, 2018

Journeys in Faith

Ryan Leaf coming to Columbus

Ryan Leaf, former Great Falls CMR state football champ and finalist for the Heisman Trophy while playing for the Washington State Cougars, will be in Columbus on Sunday, Sept. 10.

He will be presenting on “Overcoming Obstacles & Victory Over Addictions” at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Columbus Evangelical Church, with a Q & A session at 10 a.m.

Ryan was the 1998 No. 2 NFL draft pick behind Peyton Manning. He signed for $11.25 million and earned $5 million annually in his contract. While playing for the San Diego Chargers, he suffered injuries and began taking legally prescribed painkillers, but unfortunately, began illegally using opiates for easing his emotional pain. Burglary, outbursts, and prison ensued.

Leaf admitted, “I was manipulative, narcissistic, deceitful, a thief.”

After 26 months in prison, his cellmate (a war vet, who drove drunk, and was convicted of vehicular manslaughter) brought Ryan down to the prison library to help inmates learn to read. This change of direction was pivotal in moving Ryan’s self-focus to learning to reach out and help others.

Other community groups partnering for this event include Thrivent Financial, Stillwater Family Pharmacy, Columbus Mental Health Clinic, Stillwater County DUI Task Force, Stillwater Billings Clinic, Stillwater Community Health Services, and Stillwater Tobacco Prevention.