May 23, 2008
By Leah Thomas –
A few of our football players — Darryl Richard, Jason Hill, Andrew Smith, and Michael Johnson — and D’Andre Bell from men’s basketball came with me out to Flowery Branch Elementary School yesterday afternoon to volunteer their afternoon with the YMCA afterschool program there. It was a great afternoon, and those kids out there were SO excited to be playing with real college football/basketball players.
When we got there, we were standing outside the school so the organizers could give us instructions, and we could already hear the kids inside chanting “Georgia Tech!” The organizers had really gotten these kids pumped up and they were just beside themselves with excitement. They had spent the week leading up to yesterday preparing for our visit – they had tie-dyed yellow and blue tee-shirts, made blue and gold noise makers out of soda bottles, and decorated their gym with signs saying “We Believe in Georgia Tech!” and “We Bleed White and Gold!”…and remember, we were technically in bulldog country.
They had prepared a “tunnel” for our student-athletes to run through into the gym, where they went nuts for them. And they were playing some pump-you-up music that is often used at our own football games, and our guys really got into it and made those kids feel special. They all introduced themselves, told what sport they played, and then answered a few questions from the kids. Then we all went outside where they played several playground-type games with the kids for about an hour. We came back in and they spent a long time signing autographs and taking pictures. As the parents were coming to pick their kids up – they had a few more autographs and pictures to take with them too!
I’ve attached some of the better pictures that I got. I admit, I’m no photographer, but hopefully you all can get the idea.
We have another event coming up 2 weeks from yesterday with Camp Twin Lakes and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Oh, and the lone female in these pictures is Elena Linn of Women’s Cross-Country/Track who came out as well. She was a good sport considering the lack of attention she got, but the little girls loved her.