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fordfixer
10-24-2009, 01:11 AM
Woodley honored by Boys & Girls Club
Friday, October 23, 2009
http://www.steelers.com/article/112736/

By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com
Linebacker LaMarr Woodley was honored at the Western Pennsylvania Boys & Girls Club Gridiron Taste & Talent Dinner for his dedication to the youth of the Pittsburgh community and his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan.

Woodley received the “Dedication to Youth Award,” a national award given by the club and presented in the recipient’s town.

Woodley initiated his Sack Attack this year, donating $500 per sack to children’s charities. Charities that will benefit from Woodley’s strong play this year are The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Heroes for Kids in Saginaw, Michigan and All Stars Helping Kids. He also hosts a football camp in Saginaw for kids.

“LaMarr knows what it’s all about,” said Mike Hepler, the president of the Western Pa. Boys & Girls Club. “He was one of the little guys who used to run through the halls at the club and participate in a lot of the activities there. He knows the true meaning of giving back to the kids at the Boys & Girls Club.”

Woodley, who was joined at the event by girlfriend Jordan Vinson and daughter Gabrielle, as well as other family and teammate Carey Davis, was a regular at the Boys & Girls Club in Saginaw when he was growing up and that is one of the reasons he choose that as his charity in Pittsburgh.

“That was my big thing after school,” said Woodley. “I would play pool, ping pong, basketball, take field trips. That was a big part of my life as a young kid. That was where I met all of my friends at. I got a chance to interact with a lot of people, even the people I didn’t go to school with. It was a place where the competition level was high. There was plenty of playing pool, ping pong, dodge ball, basketball, whatever the sport was it always competitive there.”

Woodley has had the opportunity to visit the Boys & Girls Club in the Pittsburgh area and when doing so spent hours there having fun and letting the competitive juices flow again.

“He was magic to the kids,” said Hepler. “The kids felt so at home with him. He was playing all of the games with the kids. He is so down to earth. To appreciate it, you had to see him interacting with the inner city teens that are in the middle of gang violence and he made them feel so special. For a brief time they escaped the world. LaMarr knows the value of things like that. You couldn’t have a better person get an award like this.”

Delisha Yelverton, a freshman at Clarion University, was also presented with the Youth of the Year Award at the event.

For a full photo gallery by Teresa Varley, please click on Gridiron Taste and Talent and go to Off The Field.