From Tragedy, Brandon Short Is Building a Better Tomorrow

The former Penn State and NFL linebacker lost his daughter to gun violence. Now, he’s supporting those affected by it.

Karli Short was courageous and inspiring, her father Brandon said, the kind of person who passionately sought to make other lives better. And she was a soon-to-be mother who had planned a gender reveal party themed to Harry Potter.

Karli Short and her unborn son died last year, victims of gun violence in the town Brandon Short, the former Penn State and NFL linebacker, said is too familiar with it. Beneath the grief of losing his daughter and first grandson, Brandon Short found a need to remember Karli while helping victims of gun violence in McKeesport, Pa.

Karli Short was 26. Brandon Short wants her memory to fuel and inspire others.

“Losing Karli was devastating and still is, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same,” Short said. “However, I’m a big believer in God and religion and that everything happens for a reason. When I thought about it, as I’m grieving, I couldn’t think of a better to honor Karli’s memory than to help students live the American dream and reach their full potential.”

The Karli Short Better Tomorrow Foundation will host a major fundraising gala July 15 in Pittsburgh, featuring many of Short’s famous football friends. Franco Harris, LaVar Arrington and Curtis Martin are among those scheduled to appear at the event, hosted by former Penn State lineman Anthony “Spice” Adams.

The gala’s collection of auction items and experiences is a wish list for football fans. It includes two tickets to Super Bowl LVII; tickets and sideline passes to a Steelers-Ravens game, a Giants-Eagles game and a Rams-Panthers game; and four tickets and sideline passes to the Penn State-Ohio State game. Memorabilia signed by Aaron Donald, Saquon Barkley and Zion Williamson, among many others, will be available for bid.