NFL star comes to children's aid
Joey Porterís wife, Christy, presents a $17,000 donation to Richardson Center Principal Ann Peterson-Saslaw (left), as Kern County Superintendent of Schools Larry E. Reider and Special Education Services Administrator Pam Sanders enjoy the moment.
All Pro linebacker Joey Porter has made a big impact on the football field with the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers. But he recently scored big points with public education in the town he still calls home, Bakersfield. Porter donated $17,000 to the Claude W. Richardson Child Development Center in Bakersfield, operated by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.
County Superintendent Larry E. Reider and Richardson Principal Ann Peterson-Saslaw received a check from Porter's wife, Christy, during a June 29 ceremony at the Richardson Center. The donation came from proceeds raised at "Joey Porter's Boot Camp," a youth football camp held at Foothill High School on June 11, and "Joey Porter's Golf Tournament," which took place at River Lakes Ranch golf course on June 12.
Foothill High School, Porter's alma mater, was also a recipient of funds from both events.
The Richardson Center, as Christy Porter told Saslaw and Reider, has played a vital role with their family. Jasmine, the second of their four children, was diagnosed with autism, a neurological and developmental disorder, two years ago. Now four-years-old, Jasmine has been helped by attending the Richardson Center, where preschool children with special needs and high risk infants receive a variety of educational and support services. Since Jasmine's diagnosis, Joey has advocated publicly, arousing awareness to raise research funds for autism, the third most common childhood disorder after juvenile diabetes and cancer.
When Joey decided to hold his football camp, one of the first people he contacted was Peterson-Saslaw telling her he wanted to donate half of the proceeds to the Richardson Center to give something back for the good work it does for children enrolled there.
Christy told Peterson-Saslaw and Reider, "This is a school that we truly believe in and next year we plan to help you again with hopefully an even bigger donation from Joey's football camp."
Reider was impressed by the generosity and dedication of the Porters.
"Donations like this are always special, but they are extra special when they come from people like the Porters, who are so involved in the programs that help our community," Reider said.
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