Making sacks count


Linebacker LaMarr Woodley is off to a good start in 2010, with one sack in each of the Steelers first two games.

And while those sacks have been key plays for the Steelers defense, they also mean a lot to some deserving youth programs.

Woodley initiated the "LaMarr Woodley Sack Attack" last year, making a donation for each sack to the All Stars for Kids, the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania and Heroes for Kids. Sponsors match Woodley's donation and last year it raised $25,000.

This week Woodley kicked off the second season of the Sack Attack at the Boys & Girls Club in Lawrenceville, where the after school tutoring program for children has benefited from Woodley's generosity.

"He does whatever he can for the young people," said Mike Hepler, President and CEO of the B&G Club of Western, Pa.  "Having a role model like that infused in the lives of the inner city children we serve every day means a lot to them. It helps them navigate through life and escape from the reality they deal with on the street or at home."

Woodley grew up in the Boys & Girls Club in his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan, so helping the organization out really hits home for him.

"It means a lot to be able to help," said Woodley. "The Boys & Girls Club is where I had all of my fun, went on field trips. I got to do different stuff there.

"When I was younger I told myself if I was ever successful I would always give back. That's important to me to give back. You are never too big to give back."

Woodley also encouraged the kids at the B&G Club to stay active, talking to them about the NFL's Play60 program that encourages 60 minutes of activity a day. And to highlight the importance of it he worked the kids out, sending them through an obstacle course and football toss.

"It's always important to stay healthy and active," said Woodley. "Kids aren't as active as they once were. Things are all electronic now. It's important to stay more active.

"I love to get involved and have fun, compete a little bit. I like it when the kids try to beat me, I get competitive."

Rookie Stevenson Sylvester joined Woodley at the B&G Club and also encouraged the kids to be active.

"This is getting back to old fashioned ways of playing outside and getting them to be active," said Sylvester. "Obesity has taken over America. Getting them active is a start to getting them better in school and a lot of areas."

 And the kids really seemed to enjoy getting away from video games for a while, running around, sweating and just having fun.

"The kids are our future," said Woodley. "If we want our future to run this country, we have to do something to help them out."

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