Wedding dress helps Grey Cup champion John Rush raise over $8,000 for Rainbow Resource Centre

Photo courtesy: John Rush

2019 Grey Cup champion fullback John Rush found a wedding dress fit for his first vaccine date.

The veteran CFL fullback decided to make his initial COVID-19 vaccination appointment a charity fundraiser, starting a GoFundMe and asking fans to vote on whether he should arrive on May 31 in either a tuxedo or wedding dress. The results were predictable, with the six-foot-one, 227-pounder finding a white dress to wear on the big day.

“As a straight white man in our society, I’m afforded many privileges. I’m trying to use my privileges to bring awareness, break gender norms, and raise money to help build a better world for all,” Rush wrote on his donation page.

The 27-year-old Rush wanted to start Pride Month off with a bang. He raised more than $8,300 for Winnipeg’s Rainbow Resource Centre — an organization that offers support services to the city’s 2SLGBT+ community.

Rush has a sizeable following on social media with over 15,000 followers on Twitter and 20,000 followers on Instagram, which often display his love for dogs or vegan eating habits.

That helped get the message out and created media interest in the Manitoba capital. He surpassed his original goal of $5,000 with 100 percent of the donations going directly to Rainbow Resource Centre.

Rush won the Presidents’ Trophy with the University of Guelph Gryphons in 2015 as the top defensive player in U Sports football, but went unselected in the CFL Draft. He joined the Blue Bombers as an undrafted free agent, converting from linebacker to fullback.

Now a free agent, Rush spent four seasons with the team, recording 14 total tackles in 49 games as a valuable special teamer. He was a member of the Grey Cup championship team in 2019, later saving the 112-year-old trophy from a hotel fire in Kenora.