Mike Zimmer beamed with pride Saturday night while reminiscing about the time his late wife Vikki, who died unexpectedly of natural causes in 2009, headed to the store to buy groceries then drove all over town to track down a homeless woman she had spotted earlier in the day.

“That’s the kind of lady she was,” the Vikings head coach said.

With Vikki in mind, and with his three children at his side, Zimmer and his family launched the Mike Zimmer Foundation at a private event at the U.S. Bank Stadium preview center. Team execs, assistant coaches and a couple of his players — including free-agent-to-be Mike Harris, who flew in from the West Coast for the event — showed up in support.

The foundation has already started helping others. Zimmer said they gave away a $10,000 scholarship at Lockport High School in Illinois, where his late father, Bill, was the football coach there. And he said a donation has also been made to help with the Flint, Mich. water crisis.

But because Vikki was a dance teacher who loved children, the foundation will focus on benefiting area youths. The plan is to provide scholarships for underprivileged kids. A youth football camp and a golf tournament are a couple of the fundraisers that are in the works. They are also mulling over doing a hunting trip with Zimmer to help bring in donations.

“The people of Minnesota have been so great to me and I want to try to give back to the community,” said Zimmer, who was hired in 2014.

One of Zimmer’s two daughters, Corri, will be running the foundation.

“She did a great job inviting all the people here and she’s done a great job of getting donations and getting everything set up,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer said the foundation started receiving donations this summer, but the passing of his father in August pushed him to get the foundation off the ground. Now Zimmer — along with his two daughters and son Adam, who is the team’s linebackers coach — hope that they can keep Vikki’s spirit going strong by helping others in need, just like she would have done.

“She was the nicest, kindest person,” Zimmer said. “Totally opposite of me.”

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