Apr/12/12 08:36 AM Filed in: Ray Lewis
LAKELAND | Three years ago, Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis wanted to establish a wing of his foundation in Lakeland. After all, Lewis graduated from Kathleen High School.
So far, so good.
The Ray Lewis Foundation will host Ray's Spring Fest this week, filled with meet-and-greets, fundraisers and activities for adults and children.
The activities start at 7 tonight when Lewis will be on hand for a meet-and-greet at the Dream Center, 635 W. Fifth St., Lakeland. On Friday, he participates in a celebrity bowling tournament at Orange Bowl Lanes as well as an after party.
On Saturday, Lewis will hold a youth fitness clinic during the day, then give the coin toss at the Lakeland Raiders football game at The Lakeland Center at night.
The activities tonight and Friday are fundraisers that help the foundation do other activities during the year, like back-to-school and holiday activities.
"Ray's goal has been to bring his foundation back to the community where it all began," said Gwen Gentry, vice president of the foundation. "His foundation has been active and involved in the Baltimore community, and now Ray is making an impact here in Florida through the activities of the foundation."
The jewel of the weekend is the youth fitness clinic on Saturday at his alma mater, Kathleen High School.
The clinic is not a football camp.
Lewis and area coaches and athletes will lead the youth participants through various exercises meant to get them physically active. Registration for the camp is closed.
"Ray really wants the kids to get out there and have fun and understand, one, the importance of exercise," said John Ruffin, chairman of Lewis' foundation in Lakeland. "And two, how the cultivation of determination in this capacity can be carried forward to build the character needed to be successful in all aspects of life. He's a living testament to that every day of his life."
Tickets to the fundraisers tonight and Friday are limited. For more information on the foundation, contact Ruffin at 863-712-6125 or Gentry at 863-279-2122.