Vernon Carey donates to high school

Vernon Carey has never hesitated to give back to his community.

Around the holidays, Carey usually organizes food drives or hands out turkeys on Thanksgiving.

On Friday morning, the Dolphins offensive lineman gave back to his alma mater in a big way.

Miami Northwestern High inaugurated a new weight room with new equipment donated by Carey, a member of the Bulls’ 1998 undefeated state championship football team.

Carey, members of the Northwestern football team and school faculty were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“I will forever be grateful, and our athletes will forever be grateful to Vernon and what he’s done for us,” Northwestern coach Stephen Field said. “This school won championships with the way it used to be, but it was a struggle. Today’s all about the appreciation for this man who has done this for these kids.”

Carey donated $20,000, and the process of installing the new equipment took less than two months.

“I’m going to plan a day soon at the school board to honor Vernon [Carey] for his efforts,” said Miami-Dade County school board member and Northwestern alum Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall. “We have an individual like this that has reached out and gone above and beyond to give back to these kids. This is a blessing.”

The room was dubbed the “Vernon Carey Weight Room,” and the equipment was painted in the school’s blue and gold colors with different designs of the Bulls’ logo as well as the team’s slogan “Bull Pride” on some of the machines.

“I saw the weight room, and it was in bad condition,” Carey said. “I come here all the time to come back and to see my name on the weight room, I know I’ll laugh, but to see the opportunity it gives those kids is worth it to me.”

Northwestern alums and football players alike were impressed by the facility.

Northwestern missed the playoffs for the first time in 20 years last season.

Field hopes the new weight room will be a positive start for a program hoping to make a return trip this coming season.

“It made us feel like somebody cared about us,” said offensive lineman Joe Jenkins, who will be a senior this fall. “This gives us the chance to go out and compete with top-notch programs that have the facilities to be good programs year in and year out.”

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