NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens woman has sent a hail Mary to help a high school football player.

The student’s future at Holy Cross in Flushing was in Jeopardy when tragedy struck his family, then came an amazing act of generosity.

If you asked 14-year-old Tyriek Dodd a month ago, what his future held he would say he didn’t know. His father died of cancer last February, putting an emotional and financial strain on the family.

“I was kind of scared. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to attend here,” he told CBS2’s Emily Smith, “I’m so comfortable here. I’m set here. I would really appreciate it if I could stay here.”

Exactly one month he learned that a perfect stranger, Patty Reimerdes, would be giving a $50,000 donation to Holy Cross High School, allowing hm to stay in Bayside, Queens as a wide receiver on the football team.

“They told us the story about Tyriek and I felt god was sending us a sign. The right boy, someone who plays football, someone with good grades,” she said.

Reimerdes’ husband Rudy died of a heart attack last year.

In the 1960s he played on the same football field and sat in the same classrooms. She said the man known as Rude the Dude, or Rudy Krizan would have wanted this.

“As I said, it’s the school that made Rudy the man that he was and still is,” she said.

Reimerdes believes with two angels looking over Dodd, there’s nothing he can’t do. His goal is to play in college.

“That’s my number on goal, and if I get past that I go to the NFL,” he said, “That’s the big dream, the big goal.”

The $50,000 donation goes to Holy Cross. The money will pay for his education as long as he meets academic standards.

The donor wanted to point out that family and friends contributed to the fund. She could not have done it alone.



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