The newly minted Corridor of Famer Alan Faneca welcomed Virginia Seaside to their residence
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. – Coastal Virginia, also known as The 757, is home to another Hall of Famer. On Monday night friends and neighbors in Virginia Beach celebrated Alan Faneca, one of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Faneca, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection that won a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006, was announced as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night – the eve of Super Bowl LV. Faneca and his wife, Julie, who grew up in Virginia Beach and attended First Colonial High School, traveled to the Tampa Bay area on Friday to attend Hall of Fame activities throughout the weekend. These events culminated in the performance on the field at Super Bowl LV on Sunday evening.
When friends and neighbors returned to Hampton Roads Monday night, they surprised Alan with a masked, socially distant greeting at Trantwood Elementary. A fire truck and ladder truck from Station Eight of the Virginia Beach Fire Department were also in attendance.
“These are friends, neighbors and people who live in the neighborhood – people you see every day,” Faneca told Adam Winkler, Sports Director of News 3. “That makes it special that they stand out here in the cold and waiting for me to come back from my late flight. “
When the Fanecas returned to their home after the greeting on Monday, they were greeted by illuminated letters displaying the message “2021 HOF 66” courtesy of Alpha-Lit Marquee Letters.
During his playing career, Alan and Julie spent the off-season in Virginia Beach – since their family is still in the area. After retiring, the Fanecas lived in New Orleans (Alan’s hometown) and northern Virginia – but moved to Virginia Beach over the past decade.
“Virginia Beach is great,” remarked Faneca. “We love it here. We love the lifestyle: living on the beach, the people here. Everyone is friendly. It’s been a part of our lives for a long time, we spent a lot of time here, so we just decided to take it home create. “
They now call the area their home permanently and even own a small business in town.
Last year Faneca launched ViraDecon – a safe, non-toxic mist method to help get rid of the coronavirus in homes and other spaces.
Helping neighbors recover and reopen COVID-19 is just one of many community-based endeavors the Fanecas are involved in.
The family is also working with Steven D’Achille to raise awareness about postpartum depression. D’Achille’s wife, Alexis, committed suicide in 2013 after giving birth to the couple’s daughter, Adriana. Steven founded the Alexis Joy D’Achille Foundation, which aims to help women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
One in nine new mothers has postpartum depression, and Julie Faneca was treated for PPD after giving birth to the couple’s youngest child. D’Achille and the Fanecas believe that education can be an important step in helping women and their spouses transition to PPD early on.
“Just trying to talk about it is the greatest thing,” Alan Faneca told the Associated Press. “I’m trying to shed some light on the subject. This is how you can get people to talk about it. “
The Fanecas are also financial supporters of research into Sturge-Weber Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that their daughter Anabelle was diagnosed with as a toddler. In addition, the Fanecas partner with Glimmer of Hope, a Pittsburgh-based foundation dedicated to finding breast cancer, and local organizations like We Are VB, who work to improve the quality of life and outcomes for homeless and at-risk students in Virginia Beach.
“We learned early on that we can do some really good things,” said Faneca of his family’s desire to give something back. “That has led to us helping and being part of the community. There are so many people out here who need help and support. And to do that – it puts a smile on your face.”
Faneca and the Class of 2021 will be anchored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on Sunday, August 8, 2021.