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More 'Y' support

Posted: September 13, 2012 7:49 a.m.
Updated: September 12, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Being in a working family in this age is very difficult without the help of others. As a father of three, there is hardly ever enough time or resources close to me to create the healthy environment I would like for my family. As a former Camden high athlete, I know how important staying in touch with your health and your community really is, and that is why I am proud to support the effort for a Camden YMCA!

I grew up in the racetrack community of Camden. For most of my childhood I was surrounded by drugs, crime, and other negative influences. Thanks to the family structure that my 96-year-old grandmother instilled in my siblings and me, I stayed dedicated to family, faith, and on a positive track. But, as I got older it seemed as if our community had only gotten worse. Not only were close friends of mine now turning to the street, some of my family members had now fallen into the grips of drug addiction. With most of my community set ablaze due to the drug epidemic, as a teenager I wondered if and when I would be the next one imprisoned, strung out or dead. Despite the adversity and pressures of life, the guidance and motivation I got from teachers, coaches, and other community figures encouraged me to strive academically and athletically.

At 18, the U.S. Army enabled me to see the differences in life across our great country. Although big city life is something we all dream of, it can never compare to the love and support from people in this community. Just thinking of the growth and possibility that this city has to offer is amazing! There isn’t another place that I would rather raise my family than Camden. We all know that there’s always improvements that can be made, but when we have an opportunity to better an already strong and close knit city like the one that we have now, we must take advantage. This will ensure that the values that kept me alive will live on through the future. If kids are not taught these values at home, they can find them at the YMCA.

We are talking about the preservation of life through sports, exercise, athletics, and healthy habits. And we can also continue the rich traditions of the past.

I support the construction of the recreation facility to be run by the YMCA and believe that it is an important step in the direction we all know our beloved city can be.

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