Pro Athletes From Berks Return To Help Community

WYOMISSING, Pa. - Berks County's largest industry is farming but sometimes it seems like breeding professional athletes isn't far behind. This weekend an Olympic athlete and 2 NFL Football players who call Berks County home flew in for a visit.

When you're a kid, an NFL football star or Olympians' autograph is quite a big deal. But three Berks County pro athletes want to give children much more than just their signature.

"I think the biggest thing to come back here to Berks County this is where we grew up, this is where we started and we want our youth to really grow up and benefit from what we're doing because we had so many opportunities as kids, we want to give them the same opportunities."

Miami Dolphin Quarterback and Wilson High School graduate Chad Henne is teaming up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end and fellow Wilson grad John Gilmore to restore parks and recreation programs in Berks County.

"Just driving around seeing some of the parks that I grew up going to and some of the state that they were in I was appalled by it."

Friday night at Viva Bistro and Tapas Lounge Henne and Gilmore were here to support another Wilson grad Olympic speed skater Allison Baver and her new foundation "Off the Ice."

"Donating skates, equipment, facilities to communities to help instill character values skill development and healthy lifestyles using the sport of skating."

Baver has won the Olympic bronze and says the skills she learned growing up in Berks is why she has been so successful and why she wants to give back. &g

"You don't realize how awesome this community is not only in school but philanthropy and everything we really do big things here."

"It's pretty neat to have Olympians doing what they are doing and Chad and I teamed up to do what we're doing and we're all bred from the same cloth so it's a pretty neat deal."

If you want to come down to help "Off the Ice" the ticket price is $10. The first location the Gilmore Henne Fund is tackling in Berks is the Oley and 2nd streets playground in Reading. That will be a family friendly event starting at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

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Allentown, PA 18102


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