Al Thompson
The Districts – from Philly are opening along with The Tontons for Philly favorite Kurt Vile for a benefit run by Eagles defensive lineman Connor Barwin.


Eagles Connor Barwin is a big, tough defensive end whose job it is to knock the be-jabbers out of running backs and quarterbacks every Sunday.

It may be hard to imagine a 6-foo-4, 264-pound lineman learning the nuances of playing a musical instrument, even the one Barwin was coaxed into playing as a youth.

“I was in the band…I played the drums in high school,”Barwin said with a laugh recently. “I wasn’t very good, but I was in the band. My parents made me and all my brothers all learn an instrument when we were kids. I’ve always had an appreciation for what musicians do.”

Eagles DE Connor Barwin is hosting his first annual "Make the World Better" benefit June 20, 2014 at Union Square in Philadelphia. Photo by Andy Lewis/

Eagles DE Connor Barwin is hosting his first annual “Make the World Better” benefit June 20, 2014 at Union Square in Philadelphia. Photo by Andy Lewis/

That fundamental love for music and how it is created brought Barwin and the Philadelphia area sports and music communities together for a good cause.

“There are very few people I don’t know that don’t either love football or love music,” said Barwin who has 168 tackles, 23 sacks and 26 passes defended during his five-year NFL career . “You cover a lot of categories when you hit those two areas.”

The “Make The World Better Foundation” (MTWB), established in 2013 by Barwin, will hold its inaugural benefit concert at Philadelphia music venue Union Transfer on June 20, 2014, featuring 2013’s “Philly Artist of the Year” Kurt Vile and the Violators.

Barwin informs there are three area bands to perform June 20, two are from the Delaware Valley, both are getting looks at the national level. In addition to Kurt Vile the plus The Districts are from here.

Also performing are The Tontons from Houston, home of the Houston Texans, the other NFL team Barwin played for before joining the Eagles before the 2013 season.

“It’s two great Philadelphia Bands that are playing,” Barwin said. “We’re trying to bring the musicians, athletes and the community all together for what the concert is doing, then all the money that we raise is going to directly to a park in South Philly. It’s keeping everything local…the musicians, the Eagles will be there. It’s going to make a real big difference for Ralph Brooks Park.”

Barwin said he found the park in need almost by accident.

“This is a playground I found just riding my bike down in South Philly,” Barwin said. “I met a lot of people in the community that have been working on this revitalization project. I just got involved, and with the help of these musicians and all the work they’ve already done on this park we’re going to push it over the edge and break construction this fall.”

The Tontons - from Houston - along with Philadelphia area The Districts are opening for Philly favorite Kurt Vile for a benefit run by Eagles defensive lineman Connor Barwin.

The Tontons – from Houston – along with Philadelphia area The Districts are opening for Philly favorite Kurt Vile for a benefit run by Eagles defensive lineman Connor Barwin.

Barwin said he got this concert and effort by just following his music nose.

“I really just enjoy to go see live music,” Barwin said. “I’ve met some of the people in the music industry, Union Transfer said they would donate their facility to host the show, so I just saw an opportunity to try and make a difference. The musicians were all about it. They wanted to donate their services, it just seemed like the right thing to do. We hope to bring together the local athletic and artistic communities in order to bring about positive change for the children of our city.”

All proceeds from the concert will be donated and matched by Barwin’s MTWB Foundation for the revitalization project at Ralph Brooks Park in South Philadelphia.

The renovation will include a new state-of-the-art basketball court, safe and well-lit play areas, an urban farm and a mural by renowned local artist Steve Powers.

Barwin said he wants this to be a permanent event in the Philadelphia area.

“I have a big vision where this is going to go,” Barwin said. “This is just the first show. I want this to be an annual thing. It’s all benefiting my foundation which is called the “Make the World Better Foundation,” this is just the beginning. I see it going on for a long time.”

For more information on the benefit concert and the Ralph Brooks Park revitalization project, please visit



When: Friday, June 20, 2014

Where: Union Transfer

1026 Spring Garden St.

Philadelphia, PA 19123



7-8 pm – VIP meet and greet with participating musicians and Philadelphia Eagles players, including host Connor Barwin, LeSean McCoy, DeMeco Ryans, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, Najee Goode, Bradley Fletcher, Mychal Kendricks, Trent Cole, Cary Williams, Brent Celek, Bennie Logan and more. Open bar and catering from Prime Stache.

Evening schedule for fans:

8:00 pm – Doors open

8:30 pm – The Districts

9:45 pm – The Tontons

11:00 pm – Kurt Vile

Action shot of Connor Barwin photo by Andy Lewis/

19 Jun 14 - Arena Football League, College football, Football, Football Training, High School Football, NFL - Al Thompson - No Comments

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