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The NFL might be going through a work-stoppage at the moment, but that doesn’t mean Ray Lewis is taking a break from his tireless work in the Baltimore community.
The future Hall of Fame linebacker said his charitable efforts won’t ever leave his “home,” and this weekend’s Ray’s Summer Days continues the giving.
Ray Lewis 98 Rock Interview
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“Honestly, nobody is connected to this city like I’ve promised myself to be connected to this city,” Lewis said in an interview with 98 Rock. “Baltimore is my home. It’s what was granted to me, and I’m going to do everything to make sure it’s right.”
The seventh-annual event features fitness-related fun for children and adult-themed activities, all in the hopes of raising funds for the Ray Lewis Foundation to aid disadvantaged youth and families in need.
But for Lewis, it’s also about his connection to Baltimore, the only NFL city he’s known since the Ravens made him their second-ever draft pick in 1996.
“I didn’t know years ago what was going to happen with the transition with the Baltimore Colts, then the Cleveland Browns, then back to the Baltimore Ravens. We don’t even have a uniform,” Lewis said. “Then I’m one of the first two people to be able to start this franchise. All of the sudden, I’m like, ‘Wow.’
“Of all the crazy dreams you have as a kid, ‘I’m going to play for this team, I’m going to play for that team,’ and then you end up in Baltimore. Then you start getting into your 12th season, your 15th season, you think, ‘This is why God dropped me here.’”
Ray’s Summer Days, which has raised over $100,000 in past years, kicked off with a VIP party and after-party on Thursday, May, 19, and will be followed by a celebrity bowling tournament Friday night.
Saturday, a youth fitness clinic, celebrity paintball tournament and BBQ headline the proceedings, all capped by a wrap party.
Lewis said he’s looking forward to meeting everyone who comes out to support his cause this weekend.
“People would say they’re complete strangers, but they’re the same people that when I walk into that stadium that are screaming their lungs out,” Lewis said with a laugh.