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mesaSteeler
07-04-2009, 10:06 PM
Gay eager to open Family FunFest
http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20090703/SPORTS/907030345/1002/RSS01
By Aimee Sachs
DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay remembers his childhood Fourth of July tradition of sitting in the old Wal-Mart parking lot on Apalachee Parkway and watching the fireworks from Tom Brown Park.

The 24-year-old Rickards High graduate has come a long way since then. The Super Bowl XLIII champion is starting what he hopes to be a new Fourth of July tradition Saturday the Family FunFest at Jack McLean Park.

"I always wanted to do something just to give back and show my appreciation to my community," Gay said.:tt03::tt03::tt03:

The free event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will provide free food, music and entertainment including face painting and a Bounce House.

Parking will be available at Gene Cox Stadium and the event is free to the public, though Gay hopes to bring awareness to the Character Center, an after-school program for at-risk kids with learning disabilities.

Gay has had his share of hardships growing up, losing both his mother and father by the time he was 12.

"I had to look to the community for support," Gay said. "If it wasn't for the people in the community where I grew up, I might not have been as successful."

Gay recently donated $2,500 to Rickards, which the NFL matched for a total of $5,000. He also donated cleats to the Raiders football team.

Later this year, Gay will launch his own non-profit organization with plans for a turkey drive and toy giveaway during the holiday season.

The fact that homegrown NFL players return to Tallahassee to give back speaks volumes for the community, Gay said.

"That lets you know that we love where we came from," Gay said. "I love my community. I plan on retiring here."

For now, Gay can't wait to see the smiles on the children's faces.

"That's going to be bigger than the Super Bowl for me," Gay said. "It's going to be fun. I can't wait to see how it turns out."

MasterOfPuppets
07-04-2009, 10:09 PM
He also donated cleats to the Raiders football team. i guess that huge kicker and cornerback contract left crazy Al broke.....:laughing:

Galax Steeler
07-05-2009, 07:17 AM
Nice read It is good to see Gay contribute to the community.

HometownGal
07-05-2009, 07:51 AM
I love reading about athletes who never forget their roots and give back to where they come from. :thumbsup::hatsoff::drink:

Seems that Gay had a bit of a tough childhood, having to grow up not only without one parent, but BOTH, at a very impressionable time in his life, but he made something of himself and that is truly commendable!

William Gay is a man of character and I'm proud that he is a member of a team and organization where character is a must. :tt02:

mulldog24
07-05-2009, 10:19 AM
I'm really glad we have a guy like Gay on our team for his ability and character. I hope he stays a steeler for his entire career!

mckeesrockstheburg
07-05-2009, 10:26 AM
Seems to be agood guy with serious future ahead of him. Good attitude, ready to work, do what's necessary. I see 5 picks for him this year. He can catch! Ike- great cover, stones for hands!