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Former Pirates gather for Gridiron Classic

From staff reports

For many former athletes, once their playing days end, so do the charitable foundations they started or the other good causes they put their names to.

The conclusion might be that regardless of how worthy the purpose, those athletes lacked true emotional commitment to the cause once the career was over.

For a pair of former East Carolina football standouts, staying power is not an issue when the objective is worthwhile. Troy Smith and Kevin Monroe have already demonstrated that their undertaking, FUTURE, Inc., was never intended to be a start up and move on venture.

4th Annual Gridiron Classic

   Saturday, April 8, 6 pm

Minges Coliseum at ECU

General $5
   Students $3
   Children 5 and under free

   E-mail Troy Smith and
   Kevin Monroe at:

After four years, FUTURE, Inc., is gaining momentum and yielding more tangible benefits to targeted youth in their hometown community, Greenville.

Smith and Monroe hope their signature annual event, the Gridiron classic, can continue to help drive the organization's success. This year's Gridiron Classic once again promises to be a fun-filled occasion where fans can rub elbows with some of ECU's greatest former athletes, who will be displaying their talents on the hardwood instead of the turf.

"We think this is going to be the best the event has been so far,” Monroe said. “We hope everyone will come out and support the cause."

Among this year’s crop of former stars that will be supporting and headlining the event are Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard, Atlanta Falcons all-Pro Defensive Lineman Rod Coleman and former CFL MVP and current Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Marcus Crandell.

Also expected to hit the basketball court are former Miami Dolphins Larry Shannon, Travis Darden and Leonard Henry, and former Kansas City Chief and current AFL player Norris McCleary.

The Classic will be played in Minges Coliseum at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $3 for students with student ID, $5 for general admission, and free to children age 5 and under. An autograph session will follow the game.

FUTURE, Inc., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing alternatives for the at-risk youth of the South and West Greenville communities. The Gridiron Classic is FUTURE’s biggest fundraiser. Proceeds from this fundraiser and all other FUTURE fundraisers go directly back into those communities.

This year, the proceeds will be allocated to financing a tour of Howard University and Washington, DC.

This page updated 02/23/07 11:43 AM.

©2006 All rights rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Staff reports and a news release contributed to this article.


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