Call it Foundation for the Undefeated

Paul Salata feels great pain in his hips and legs when he walks.

The famous Newport Beach resident tires easily when he goes on an outing, but you wouldn't really know it because of his effervescent personality, unique charm and welcoming sense of humor.

There's no knowing if he'll be able to stand the pain to make it to New York for next month's NFL Draft to do what he always does, announce the final pick. That's his baby, his creation, Mr. Irrelevant. It always brings a smile to his face, no matter what else is going on.

Whether he makes it there or not, he can be more than content with the fact that Irrelevant Week is in good hands. It's not just about a week now. It's much more. It's a concept he had always desired.

He's now known as the founder of the Foundation for the Undefeated, the home of Irrelevant Week. Mr. Irrelevant isn't just about the NFL Draft. Irrelevant Week is a year-round thing now because of the Undefeated.

The foundation, a national nonprofit, champions stories of perseverance in sports to inspire greatness in others.

Salata can surely be one of those stories, as he rose from poverty in Los Angeles to become a receiver at USC, and then on to the pros, where he continued to build character to become a successful businessman.

He's known for Mr. Irrelevant, but he is also known for his rise away from the football field. And so it was he wanted to celebrate someone for no reason at all. But in truth, he wanted to root for the underdog and raise money for charity.

That's what the Foundation for the Undefeated is all about.

It's been over two years in the making. And since then he had always wanted to keep the nonprofit based in Newport Beach, and that's its home.

That's where the foundation's first big event begins Thursday night. What a huge event it is.

A special screening of, "Draft Day," will take place at Big Newport, where Kevin Costner and Ivan Reitman are expected to appear, all in the name of the Foundation for the Undefeated.

The foundation also raises money for charity, just as Irrelevant Week has in the past. Its current recipient is the Special Olympics of Southern California.

Meredith Cagle, the executive director of the Foundation for the Undefeated, is thrilled about the event and excited about who is attending.

She said, Rob Friedman was highly instrumental in setting up the special screening Thursday night. He is the co-chair of Lionsgate Films of "Draft Day," and he's very involved with Special Olympics.

Cagle is one of several among the foundation's board who worked to strategize its concept and intent. That board includes chairman Jerry McGee, president Melanie Fitch (Salata's daughter) and treasurer Homer Bludau. There are many plans still in the works, but the base is set.

They all racked their brains to come up with the appropriate name for the foundation because they knew it could not continue to be called Irrelevant Week if it was a year-round concept.

Cagle came up with the perfect name. It embodies what they want to do and it describes Salata: undefeated.

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