Originally posted on Denver Post  |  Last updated 11/1/11

The Broncos were off Tuesday, but Wesley Woodyard put some of them to work.

Woodyard recruited at least a dozen of his teammates to attend his first big charity event in Denver, a dinner at Sullivan’s Steakhouse in LoDo, where the players served as waiters. Proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction go to Woodyard’s 16 Ways Foundation.

Woodyard has been quietly mentoring some local teens for several years, and also holds multiple youth events in his hometown of LaGrange, Ga. The name “16 Ways” in a nod to the jersey number he wore in high school and college.

“My foundation gives back to at-risk kids, and this here is something also for the fans,” Woodyard said. “Get us out of our elements, here serving food and just enjoying life.”

Broncos players like Champ Bailey, Von Miller, Eddie Royal, Demaryius Thomas, David Bruton, Joe Mays and Mario Haggan wore aprons and chef coats as they took orders and delivered plates.

“I hope I don’t drop anything,” Woodyard said. “But if I do, I’m going to laugh.”

And then Woodyard laughed – a sound that has become quite familiar in the Broncos locker room since Woodyard signed as an undrafted college free agent in 2008. He was named a team captain midway through his rookie year by then-coach Mike Shanahan, and his teammates have voted him as a captain each of the years since, a testament to his popularity on the field and in the locker room.

Woodyard gave a pair of tickets to Tuesday’s event to a fan who submitted his favorite nickname on the website BroncosForums.com. The winning name?

Uncle Woody.

“To me, it means a lot. I had a couple others I liked, but to me, it symbolized a lot,” Woodyard said. “Some of my younger teammates call me Uncle Woodrow, and I’m soon to be an uncle any day now. My brother is having my nephew, so it’s pretty good.”

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