DENVER - As Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen battles with Alzheimer's Disease, those who know him outside of his NFL role are praising his charitable contributions to the Denver community.
"He's a very generous man, but a very quiet one," said his friend of 20 years, Father John Lager of the Capuchin Franciscan friars.
Lager points to a playground built at the Samaritan House in Denver as an example of Bowlen's low-key charitable side. It was constructed after a casual conversation about what can be done to help homeless children.
"He said, we'll take care of that," said Father Lager. "Children will always use that as part of their playtime."
Mayor Michael Hancock's friendship with Bowlen also spans decades.
Hancock was once the team mascot.
"The first time I met him, I was very nervous to be in his presence," said Hancock. "He has set the standard and this city hasn't been the same since Pat's arrival."
Friends say it's Bowlen's everyday generosity that gives them comfort.
"Now is the time to do good. Now is the time to make a difference," said Lager. "The good will live on because of him."