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McCrary is "Humanitarian of the Year"

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Saturday night (April 7), Michael McCrary was recognized by the National Football League Player's Association as the League's "Humanitarian of the Year" primarily due to his exceptional support of Special Olympics Maryland and PAL. Saturday night, Michael was honored at a fundraising banquet hosted by the NFLPA which was attended by well over 1,000 people in Washington, DC. As the guest of honor, Michael invited SOMD Board Chair - Colonel David Mitchell, Board Development Chair - Jim Myrick and his son Jim Jr. (who competes for Special Olympics Montgomery County) and Charles County athlete Bobby Carroll and his Dad Buddy, to represent SOMD as his personal guests. As part of Mike's acceptance speech, he dedicated his award to the courage and spirit of ALL Special Olympics athletes and asked Jimmy and Bobby to join him on stage. I have attached a couple of photographs which capture the magic of that moment. The gold medal which Michael wears around his neck was signed and presented to him earlier in the evening by Jim Myrick Jr. who had won it the weekend before at the State Basketball Tournament. The woman over Mike's shoulder is Mike's incredible Mom, Sandy - who really has provided the professional guidance for Michael's exceptional charitable endeavors. The banquet will be a part of a 1 hour special on Fox SportsNet sometime in August (I will send out details as I receive them). I would again like to formally thank the amazing Michael McCrary, his family, and the entire Baltimore Ravens organization for allowing the athletes of SOMD to experience magical nights like this! Needless to say - our pride in Michael's career, both as a football player and as a community citizen - has no limits.

Stay tuned for our "Michael McCrary for NFL Man of the Year" publicity campaign!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Strong Performances by Ravens Benefit Baltimore Community

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Miller Lite Player of the Year SunTrust Community Touchdown Subway "Sack Childhood Illness" Program

At the conclusion of the NFL Regular Season, several Ravens partners contributed to Ravens charities in honor of the on-field accomplishments of the team.

Rob Burnett was selected by Miller Lite as the Ravens Player of the Year. In honor of Rob's outstanding season, in which he totaled 97 tackles, 10.5 sacks, and 4 fumble recoveries, Miller Lite contributed $2,500 to the Ravens Foundation for Families. Miller Lite also donated over $130,000 to local charities during the 2000 season.

By the end of the season, SunTrust donated a total of $20,000 to the Ravens Foundation for Families. The contribution was part of SunTrust's Community Touchdown program that awarded $1,000 to RFF for each Ravens touchdown during home games.

Subway's "Sack Childhood Illness" Program contributed $5,000 to the University of Maryland Medical System Children's Hospital this year. In attempt to fight childhood sickness in Baltimore, Subway donated $100 for each Ravens defensive sack this season.

Jamal Lewis Hosts a Christmas Party, Donates 120 Bicycles

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On Friday, December 22, Ravens running back Jamal Lewis invited 120 children, ages 3-15, to join him at the YMCA of Central Maryland's Druid Hill Branch for a Christmas party. The party included a decor of festive balloon sculptures, a Christmas tree, and a holiday feast for all those who were there. In addition to the elaborate party, Lewis donated a new bicycle to each of the children who attended the event.

Some children at Lewis' party are residents of the Druid Hill YMCA's Transitional Housing Program, which provides housing for up to two years for previously homeless women and their children while permanent housing and employment are being sought. Others are kids who attend the YMCA's Safe and Sound after-school program. Lewis commented, "Druid Hill reminds me so much of the neighborhood where I grew up in Atlanta and it gives me much pleasure to see the Druid Hill YMCA giving the kids and their families such great recreational programs."

Ravens Center Celebrates Kwanzaa

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Baltimore Ravens Center Rod Payne, along with Heaven 600, celebrated Kwanzaa at the Rognel Heights Cultural Center on Tuesday, December 26 from 1 PM until 4 PM. In the spirit of Kwanzaa, Rod provided zawadi -- meaning gifts in swahili -- to over 100 children living in the Edmondson Village area. He challenged the children to stay away from drugs, crime, and violence. In addition, the children made a commitment to do well in school.

Ravens Flock Visits Children During Holidays

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On Monday, December 18, and Tuesday, December 19, every member of the Baltimore Ravens took time to spread holiday cheer to children in the Baltimore community. This marks the 5th straight year that members of the Baltimore Ravens team have participated in holiday visits.

On December 18, members of the team made visits to children who are in-patients at the University of Maryland Medical System Children's Hospital. Players visited with the children, took pictures, and signed autographs. Also on Monday, other members of the Ravens took time to visit youth at the Ravens' Courage House at St. Vincent's Center in Timonium, MD. The highlight of the visit was a special appearance by Santa Claus played by Ravens starting guard, Edwin Mulitalo.

On Tuesday, another group of players led by defensive end Michael McCrary, hosted children from the Police Athletic League and Special Olympics at the ESPNZone in downtown Baltimore. Later that day, tackle Jonathan Ogden and his Varsity Club at Patterson High School hosted a Christmas party for 220 young students at John Ruhrah Elementary School in Baltimore. Ogden then donated $2500 to the athletics department at Patterson High.

Nike Kids Clinic

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On Tuesday, December 12, Ravens running back, Priest Holmes, and linebacker Jamie Sharper hosted 100 Baltimore Area students for the NIKE Kids Clinic at the Clarence "Du" Burns Arena in Baltimore City. Holmes and Sharper taught the children valuable football and life skills at the 2 hour camp designed to generate interest in the game of football and introduce youth to proper training methods.

Kids attending the event each received a t-shirt and hat courtesy of NIKE. They also participated in football drills such as the field goal kick, the obstacle course, and the pass catch. Afterwards, each child received an autographed team picture from Holmes and Sharper.

Ray Lewis's Holiday Toy Drive

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Thanks to the generosity of the Baltimore Community and with the help of the Baltimore Ravens All-Pro Middle Linebacker Ray Lewis, many of Baltimore's neediest families will be enjoying the holiday season this year.

Lewis hosted a holiday toy drive on December 12 from 6:00 am until 10:00 am at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) on Security Boulevard. Ray was on hand during the entire morning to collect toys, greet patrons and sign autographs for all Ravens fans who participated in the Ray Lewis Toy Drive.

Lewis contacted Baltimore Area officials and asked them to identify needy families in the community who will be the beneficiaries of all the toys and gifts that were collected. Helping others this holiday season is nothing new to Ray Lewis. Since coming to Baltimore, he has constantly reached out to area youth and their families. He preaches the importance of family and education by rewarding children with tickets to games, hosting holiday parties, and visiting the sick in area hospitals. The Baltimore Ravens and Ray Lewis thank all of the Baltimore residents who contributed to the Ray Lewis Holiday Toy Drive this year.

"FANtastic" Charity Event

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On Friday, December 1, the Baltimore Ravens, in partnership with the Ravens Wives Association and the Metropolitan Firefighters Burn Center Fund, hosted the 4th annual "FANtastic" Charity Event. The event took place at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore from 7 to 11 p.m.

Highlights from the event included autograph and photo sessions with Ravens players and coaching staff, a silent auction and a black-tie dinner.

All proceeds raised at the "FANtastic" Charity Event went to benefit the Baltimore Regional Burn Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. This year, a special focus of the money raised will be used to support the burn survivor aftercare program, which provides rehabilitation services and support to pediatric burn survivors as they rebuild and move on with their lives.

Mascot Poe Volunteers at Goodwill's 45th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner and Career Fair

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The Baltimore Ravens' Mascot Poe, took time to meet, greet and serve Thanksgiving Dinner to some of the over 2,500 people who attended Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake's 45th annual Thanksgiving DInner and Career Fair on Wednesday, November 22. The event took place at the Baltimore Convention Center from Noon to 3pm.

Poe was just one of over 350 Baltimore-Area volunteers who dedicated part of their day to serve turkey dinners and all the trimmings to disadvantaged citizens of Baltimore. In addition to the hearty meal, Goodwill also sponsored a Career Fair where guests were able to talk with over 20 social service agencies and meet with members of Goodwill's career development staff.

Ravens Family Food Drive

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On Sunday, November 19, prior to the home game versus the Dallas Cowboys, the Baltimore Ravens conducted their annual food drive to benefit the Maryland Food Bank.

Players' wives, mothers, and family members greeted Ravens' fans at all gates to accept canned goods and monetary donations. Earnest and Tina Byner also joined representatives from the Maryland Food Bank, Campbell's Chunky Soup, and Von Paris for the post food drive collection on Monday, November 20.

This year the Ravens Family collected over $5,000 and 27,000 pounds of food that will be distributed by the Maryland Food Bank to help feed hungry families in the Maryland area this holiday season. The Ravens Family thanks all of the fans who contributed to this year's successful Family Food Drive.

Players Add to Community Service During Thanksgiving Week

Click here to read the press release