by Chanel Smith
What’s going on y’all? Hope all is well. It’s been a busy week for me that was finished off by a huge Terps win! I’m excited about my latest random blog post because it has been what my life has been about for the past few weeks. If you read my blog or twitter (@torreysmithwr), you would know that I love giving back. I have been doing it as long as I can remember, even when I had nothing but time to give. It is something that I have always enjoyed even when my own family needed help.
I was raised by two hardworking women, my mother and grandmother. They worked as a team for my family to provide us with the things we needed. My mother often worked two jobs and it was still hard to make ends meet. We moved around a lot and spent some nights not knowing where we would sleep. Throughout my childhood, there were several people who reached out to help my family when we needed it most. Sometimes help came from people we least expected it from, organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House (I was born premature), my counselors, coaches, etc. That is why being in the position I am in now makes everything more rewarding. I know what it is like to struggle and now I have the opportunity to help others who are in the same shoes that I once wore. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to live a dream but I understand that there is a bigger purpose and more responsibility for me out there. Being a professional athlete has been a platform for me to help others, just as those who did for my family and me, and for that I am thankful.
Through my foundation (torreysmithfoundation.org) we have been able to help thousands of families, each year planning to reach more. Our annual programs include the Back to School Supply Program, Turkey Drive, and our Holiday Toy Drive. This year we have added The Torrey Smith Reading Rooms, and will be giving away our first Tevin Jones Scholarship Fund, which will grant 5,000 to four students planning to attend college. None of these programs would be possible without support from our sponsors and YOU! Our most anticipated annual event is my Charity Basketball Game, which will help us raise money to launch new programs this year, including a mentoring program. If this is your first year attending the game, here is what you can expect:
Doors open at 4:00PM. During this time you can walk the runway and visit Pixilated Photobooth, get your face painted, visit concession stands, find Poe and Testudo walking the concourse, or jump the gun and find your seat ( there is open seating but no worries, everyone will get a good view of the game). The game starts at 5:00 with the singing of our National Anthem by our contest winner Sarah Rodriguez!
During the Game:
If you love to watch your favorite players on the football field, you will definitely enjoy seeing them out of their element and on the basketball court. Each year the players, well most players, bring their “A game” to the court. The game will be full of fun and laughs but let’s be clear, each team wants to win. And might I add the Ravens side has won EVERY YEAR. You can expect everything from slam-dunks and crossovers to air balls and countless turnovers. You’d be surprised by how athletic some of these players are. Throughout the game there will be music from our live DJ, timeout activities, t-shirt tosses, autographed football tosses, and my favorite “Dance for your dinner”. A few lucky guests will also be chosen for upgraded seats to come sit courtside!
During halftime you can enjoy a performance by the Mini Dance Troupe, Gymkana will perform their action packed acrobatic performance, and we will announce our 2014 Tevin Jones Scholarship Fund winners!
My foundation has been working extremely hard to make this event one to remember. It will be fun and entertaining for all ages. With your support, the Torrey Smith Foundation will continue to reach out to families in need and will be able to support thousands of underprivileged youth. Just think, a little support goes such a long way. We have big plans for the 2014-2015 year, so come out to have a good time while supporting a great cause!
Game is on March 29th, 2014 at the Comcast Center (UMD). Tickets available on http://www.torreysmith.org. Spread the word!