By Teresa Varley
Fullback Carey Davis was honored at the Western Pennsylvania Boys & Girls Club Gridiron Taste & Talent Dinner for his dedication to the youth of the Pittsburgh community and those in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.
The dinner, which was held at the Heinz History Center & Sports Museum, also included a silent auction to help raise money for after school educational programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Davis grew up attending the Matthews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club in St. Louis and has never forgotten where he came from.
"Kids that grew up in the club remember their roots," said Mike Hepler, President of the Western Pa. Boys & Girls Club. "Carey epitomizes everything the Boys & Girls Club is about by succeeding in life. He has reached out to kids in the community and made them feel important and like they can reach out like he did. He is not superficial. When he interacts with the kids, they know he is sincere. He is a true blue Boys & Girls Club member."
Davis attends events in Pittsburgh that benefit the Boys & Girls Club and gives of his time at their flag football championship. He also spends time at the Matthews-Dickey club during the offseason.
"Growing up I was never able to be around professional athletes," said Davis. "For me to be around these kids and talk to them it is fun. It's probably more fun for me than them."
Davis accepted the award with several of his teammates on hand to help honor him, including Willie Parker, Charlie Batch, Anthony Madison, LaMarr Woodley, Nate Washington and Willie Colon.
"It's a good award for him," said Parker, who was one of the players who had a caricature of himself done at the event. "He definitely deserves it. He is a stand-up guy. We didn't have a Boys & Girls Club in my neighborhood. We had recreation, but we didn't have anything like that. I think it keeps kids off the street and busy and that's good. It's definitely helpful. It's a good resource."
While Davis grew up in a household where there was discipline and his mother wouldn't allow him to take part in sports if he got in trouble, the Boys & Girls Club provided another avenue to keep him on the straight and narrow.
"It's a great establishment," said Davis. "It gives kids a place to go to where they can help them be successful in life. If it weren't for the Boys & Girls Club and my mother I could have been in a lot of trouble."
Instead of trouble he has found plenty of success in life and wants kids to know they too can be successful in whatever field they choose as long as they follow the right path.
"Whatever it is you choose to do you are capable of doing it as long as you do the right things in life," said Davis. "Stay on a straight line and don't veer off and do things that may seem cool at the time, but in the long run might hinder you."