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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Sep 2005

    Stringer’s dream lives on

    [size=18px]Stringer’s dream lives on[/size]

    By MIKE McLAIN Tribune Chronicle

    WARREN — As children ran pass patterns Monday at Mollenkopf Stadium, the sound of laughter became infectious.

    That’s exactly the way Korey Stringer wanted it to be when he began formulating plans to host an annual football camp for area youngsters. It was all about giving something back to the community in which he achieved great athletic moments as an offensive lineman at Warren G. Harding High School.

    Stringer didn’t live long enough to see his dream fulfilled. He died of complications from heat stroke Aug. 1, 2001 while participating in the Minnesota Vikings’ training camp.

    Nearly five years later Stringer’s memory remained strong as budding football players took part in the Korey Stringer Community Fund of the Cleveland Foundation’s camp.

    “This is bittersweet for me,” said Kevin Stringer, Korey’s brother. “This is what Korey wanted. If he’s looking down today, I’m sure he likes what he sees.”

    Deryck Toles, who played at Warren Harding several years after Stringer graduated in 1992, remembers admiring Stringer as a youth. Having a chance to serve as an instructor for the one-day camp was the least he could do for the Stringer Fund.

    “One thing Korey wanted to do was give back,” Toles said. “He always wanted to be visible in the community to give them hope and let them know that we came from the same place you come from. They can make it just like we did.”

    Shortly before his death Korey met with a representative of a bank in the Minneapolis area, where he established the “Korey’s Krew” charitable fund. The two talked about setting up a similar fund to benefit youngsters here.

    Korey’s relatives discovered the notes of that meeting three years later. The woman who kept the notes made it clear how important the local fund was to Korey.

    “She said there was an urgency in his voice about getting this thing started,” Kevin said. “We felt like we really had to do it, and we had to do it then. I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t throw away those notes. It had to be divine intervention.”

    Robert Smith, a star running back at Ohio State and with the Vikings, serves on the fund’s executive committee in addition to helping as an instructor at the camp. Other instructors included Harding graduates and current college players Prescott Burgess (Michigan) and Michael Phillips (Pittsburgh).

    Burgess grew up in Columbus but moved to Warren shortly before attending high school. He was happy to help put a smile on the faces of approximately 130 kids who attended the camp.

    “When you’re a positive person and a role model to young kids, it’s nothing but positive to come back and give back to the community,” Burgess said. “You just try to teach them things I’ve learned through my football career. Show them that being on the street isn’t the right thing. For them to come here and show that they want to play football and learn are big positives.”

    Football took Korey away from Warren when he accepted a scholarship to attend Ohio State. He remained away from home when he continued his career with the Vikings, but his heart never left the city limits of Warren.

    “He always came back,” Toles said. “He did a lot of things a lot of people didn’t even realize. He spoke to us a couple of times before games.”

    After the four-hour camp ended, the children we treated to a lunch that was provided by Ponderosa. As they enjoyed the food after a fun day on the field, the smiles on their faces said it all.

    “I think (Korey) would be more excited that we have so many people from the community to help us,” Kevin said. “If he’s looking down, he’d be proud that we have businessmen and just every-day, regular folks coming out to do something nice for these kids.”

    It was always about the kids for Korey.

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    Stringer’s dream lives on

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Stringer’s dream lives on

    The first home preaseason game of the year, I always wear my Stringer jersey to the game, in honor of his memory.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  3. #3
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
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    Re: Stringer’s dream lives on

    What a story.. I still miss that big man.. I wish things were different.. Rest in Peace Korey..

  4. #4
    AngloVike's Avatar
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    Re: Stringer’s dream lives on

    Class act he was and it always pains me now with the fact that he passed away on my birthday
    RIP Korey
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...

  5. #5
    Vikes_King's Avatar
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    Re: Stringer’s dream lives on

    thats great, losing korey was a big loss to the NFL & the world IMO, its good to see people are carrying on his dreams

    also like to see that robert smith is playing a big role in that

    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

    - Dan Calabrese

  6. #6
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    Re: Stringer’s dream lives on

    It's nice to see things like this happening. There is still some good left out there!

  7. #7
    thetrenches68OL's Avatar
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Stringer’s dream lives on

    Stringer was a good man and a dam good football player
    The Trenches are where Games are Decided

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  8. #8
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    Re: Stringer’s dream lives on

    Current NFL players should take a lesson from the legacy of the Big Man!!! RIP Korey...may your memory live on through the kids that attend your football camp!

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