Albany youth given star treatment from athletes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany youth given star treatment from athletes

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February 17, 2007

Albany - - We see athletes on television all the time. But Saturday, some Albany youth got up close and personal with two NFL players. It was a day to celebrate children who have gone through some adult-like experiences in life. The day of fun meant a lot to some very special youngsters.

There's room for everyone in the white Hummer, stretch limousine.

"It looks like an elongated excursion," says 11 year old Dillon Notz.

Many of the youngsters haven't stepped foot in one before. They're very excited.

"We're about to go out with a football player," 12 year old Dontravious Ousley says enthusiastically.

Two in fact. Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers and Charles Grant from the New Orleans Saints, both are from South Georgia towns, came to motivate the kids. Many of them have gone through a lot.

"Some of them have health problems, health issues. These are kids that were here to celebrate, they have gone through some traumatic experiences and are still persevering," says Alma Davis, founder of Aim for Youth.

During lunch, the athletes served the kids.

"Today my role has changed from professional football player to a server today so I'm out here just doing what I can to give back to these kids," says Thomas Davis.

The group stole the show at the restaurant. Other diners started snapping photos of the role models. They may have gotten their photos, but these kids got the athlete's time.

"I aint got a chance to go out with a famous person before," Ousley says.

After lunch, they enjoyed a game of basketball at Albany State University.

"I enjoy it more than the kids enjoy it," Grant says.

'Enjoy it' may be an understatement.

"Adrenaline from excitement is basically all I can say," says Notz.

It's a day of fun and attention from athletes who don't mind giving of their time.

"I plan on doing this as long as God puts breath in my body," Grant says.

It's all to show kids they too can overcome any obstacle that comes their way. 

The event was sponsored by Aim for Youth, an organization that pairs youth with role models. It's next big event is a Celebrity Golf Tournament in May. You can find out more about the organization by logging on to www.aimforyouth.com.

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