BOONE — A Boone woman served as a contributing writer for a book alongside two former Philadelphia Eagles NFL players for a method of success called the “victors code.”

Bonnie Church helped to write “The Last Laugh” with Dennis Franks and Vince Papale — who both played for the Eagles in the early 1970s. Church said the three met in January 2017 in Banner Elk and had the book published by the following November.

Church works as an independent unfranchise owner for a company called Market America — of which Dennis Franks serves as the executive vice president. Church said Franks approached her with the idea of finding a contributing writer for a book, and shortly after she volunteered for the job.

The book received its name after a famous photo that currently hangs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Ohio, titled “The Last Laugh.” The photo — showing Franks and Papale laughing together — was taken after a winning game that helped reverse the Philadelphia Eagles’ losing streak and took them to the Super Bowl.

“(The title explains) that you can overcome the obstacles to your success,” Church said. “Don’t let other people’s opinions about what you can do or can’t do stop you. Just go for it with passion and you can enjoy the last laugh.”

The book chronicles seven codes to success — vision, vehemence, vitality, valor, veracity, vigor and victory. Church said the book starts out with vision and how to create a clear goal statement.

“A lot of people are trying to skip that step; they don’t really have any idea where they’re going or what the future is going to look like for them,” Church said. “I think a really strong component of the code is we start right at the beginning and talk to people about vision and how to develop an action plan to support that vision.”

Interwoven into the code are stories from people Church referred to as being “hall of famers.” These people have found success in various sectors of life, such as Mariel Hemingway — an Oscar-nominated actress, Ken Mok — producer and director of America’s Next Top Model and Dick Vermeil — the former head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

“You learn from your successes and you learn from your failures,” Church said. “If we’re really smart, we’re willing to sit at the feet of people who have had experiences and we can learn from them.”

Church is the former director of High Country Host and said she’s always had her hand in writing. She said she’s done feature writing for newspapers, blogging and freelance ghost writing. In all, she said she’s substantially contributed to eight books and plans to contribute to a couple more over the next few years.

When the book was published, Church said it was such a good feeling. She said it was a sacred honor for the two men to trust her to communicate their thoughts and their heart.

“I had all sorts of apprehensions of doing this book and tremendous amount of self doubt I had to work through before and during the process,” Church said. “Yet I was their contributing writer. I was someone they leaned on and we produced together a great book. I had a last laugh.”

To purchase a copy of the book, visit

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.