After first helping 300 kids learn about football and life at the True Foundation camp which Brad Smith and his wife Rosalynn offered at YSU Saturday, it was time for some fun Saturday evening.
Smith, a receiver with the Philadelphia Eagles and a Chaney High School graduate, finished the day with hundreds of kids and adults at the Back At One Block Party at the Boys and Girls Club on Oak Hill Avenue.
It was a first-time merger of the Smiths’ seventh annual camp for boys and girls and the annual Back At One conference by his church, Mount Calvary Pentecostal, also on Oak Hill Avenue.
Young people from far and near played kickball and enjoyed a performance by Christian rapper Yaves Ellis from Columbus.
“Just be able to have fun — that’s what really matters,” said the Rev. James Tyson, Mount Calvary’s youth pastor.
The crowd really responded to the Ellis song “The Facebook Game.
The Back At One youth conference, which started Friday and continues Sunday, involves education and “a spiritual impartation,” but Saturday’s block party was about pure joy, Pastor Tyson said.
“I want to bring the good side to the South Side,” he quipped.
As for Smith, he’s a great role model for the kids, Pastor Tyson said.
“He’s a great guy. His heart is genuine. You don’t really get that a lot” with famous people, he said.
“We want to give kids a foundation of life — to see them be successful,” Smith said. “You see a need, you fill it. You want to see kids have the same opportunity I had to go to college and be a professional at whatever.”
Smith said coming home makes him want to get involved in Youngstown.
Read more about the events in Sunday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.