CB Ronde Barber wants to help the 13th Avenue Community Center continue its great work into another decade
On Saturday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ronde Barber and Martin Gramatica attended the 13th Avenue Gala in Bradenton, supporting a cause that began 68 years ago.
In 1936, Minnie Rogers, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and legendary educator Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune founded the 13th Avenue Community Center in Bradenton. Their dream was to help disadvantaged youth realize their full potential. In pursuit of that dream, Rogers, Roosevelt and Bethune constructed a facility in which they could help cultivate a solid educational base for these children.
Saturday's event was designed to raise funds for a major renovation of the 13th Avenue Community Center. The event's organizers are seeking to raise $1.5 million for various reparation projects. Among the activities that are conducted at the center are sports programs, self-esteem classes, cooking and sewing instruction and arts and crafts projects.
The Center has touched the lives of thousands of children and adults throughout the 68 years its doors have been open. It has helped many youth to their destinies as professional athletes, businessmen and women and productive individuals who have given back to the community as well as the center. Among the athletes who joined Barber and Gramatica at Saturday's event were former NBA star center Artis Gilmore and current Tennessee Titans defensive end Todd Williams. Williams, a former student of the Center, was at one point homeless during his teenage years in Bradenton, but he eventually earned a full scholarship to Florida State, where he graduated with degrees in criminal justice and sociology.
Sponsors for the 13th Avenue Gala included Champs, MLB, Brighthouse Networks, The Bradenton Herald, Adidas and Timberland. The event was considered a great success.