After Losing Their Wife, Mother Robbins Family Received A Shopping Spree From Vikings' PonderBy John Lauritsen


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Last month we shared a story about a grieving Minnesota family who received a special gift from a Vikings player.

The Robbins family lost their wife and mom, Maggie, in a car crash in early October.

Christian Ponder and his wife, Sam, heard about what happened, and treated the family to a shopping spree at a Lululemon store.

The Ponders’ good deed went viral.

The story was seen by thousands of people across the country.

Closer to home, the Vikings took notice too.

“It’s an experience that we’ll remember forever,” Justin Robbins said. “This is the coolest thing we’ve ever gotten to do, to meet the Vikings on a personal level.”

On Saturday, the Robbins’ were invited to Winter Park.

They got a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, checking out the owner’s office and getting a chance to practice their cartwheels on the Vikings logo.

But the real treat came on the field where, for a few minutes, they were a part of the team.

Coach Zimmer introduced them to the players, and 9-year-old Brianna got to officially end practice while standing next to linemen who had more than 300 pounds on her.

“It was kind of scary, but I guess it went all well,” Brianna said.

That meant seeing Christian Ponder again.

“It was pretty cool,” Brianna said. “I think he signed one of our footballs and then he signed [my jersey].”

It was an experience the Vikings provided, but one that Justin believes Maggie made possible.

“She’s up there watching us every day, every moment. And we feel it. And we’re so excited to get to experience Maggie again and again,” Justin said.

Justin said he got a chance to personally thank Christian Ponder for what he did for the girls.

As a dad, he said that was the highlight of his day.

John Lauritsen

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