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As a principal of a Cumberland County School, I am aware of the importance of educating and providing opportunities for our youth. It is important that we mold, nurture and treat every child as though he or she were our own.    Tuesday, June 24, is the Jimmy Raye Foundation Day. The foundation, in its sixth year, was started with the help of Coach Raye’s late friend, Ronald “Chase” Chalmers, who also worked to help the community. Coach Raye grew up on Murchison Road and attended E. E. Smith High School. He was the second African-American to get drafted and play quarterback in Division One at Michigan State and is currently the running back coach for the New York Jets.
The foundation was started to benefit the youth of Fayetteville.
{mosimage}“We started it as a means to give back to the community,” said Coach Raye.
The mission is to provide progressive educational opportunities to identified at-risk adolescents that will enhance their ability to successfully function in society and positively impact the social and physical environment in which they live. The funds are used to provide scholarships for local students and registration fees.
“We don’t want any kids to be denied an opportunity to participate because of registration funding,” said Coach Raye. 
This year’s event will be similar to previous events, kicking off with a luncheon at Smith Recreation Center at noon. The lunch will include a free football clinic. The purpose of the luncheon is to raise money for community youths while enjoying lunch with NFL pros. The culminating activity is the free Kids’ Football Clinic that will be held on the E. E. Smith High School football field at 3 p.m., where several current and retired NFL players and coaches will facilitate the clinic.   
 “The event has grown through the help of the Tyler Nelson Chiropractor team and other sponsors,” said Coach Raye. “Hopefully, we will be able to raise enough money to pay the full registration fee for every youngster in the community.”   
Seating packages for the event include premier seating with sponsorship recognition for $1,500, midfield seating is $800, backfield seating is $400 and bleacher seating costs $200. Individual tickets are also available for purchase. Speakers from previous luncheons have included such past and former NFL greats as Erick Dickerson, Curtis Martin, Joe Horn and Chad Pennington.
This year’s speaker is Jamie Dukes. Dukes played 10 seasons in the NFL as a guard and center for the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals. He is an analyst on “NFL Total Access” and hosts a 30-minute opinion-based talk show entitled “Put Up Your Dukes.” 
 “Our goal is to sell the event and have as many kids as we can at the free football clinic,” said Jeff Harris, JMH marketing agent. “It’s all about one free day for the kids.”
All kids must be registered. Forms will be at the football clinic. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information and to purchase tickets call 482-8865.


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