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Hometown Hero Takes the First Step

Jacksonville native Samuel Barrington has decided to take the First Step. Long known for his prowess on the field and his philanthropic efforts off it, the much-acclaimed linebacker for the Green Bay Packers who most-recently received the Pop Warner 2016 Humanitarian Award, is teaming up with a small, but mighty group of volunteers and community leaders in implementing a program that invites everyone in the community to take the First Step in creating a better, stronger, and more cohesive community. And you can join the fun and take the First Step, too, on Saturday, June 11th, at 1 p.m., at Justina Road Elementary School Park. State Representative Mia L. Jones will join Barrington, State Representative Larry Lee, Junior, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara, Christina Phillips president of Precision Sports Management Group and a few surprise guests for a free afternoon filled with fun, games, and community-building.


The First Step program had a humble start last year a couple hundred miles south of Jacksonville in Fort Pierce, Florida. In an effort to create a safer community in Garden Terrace, an area of Fort Pierce once known as “Little Vietnam” because of the violence, Scott Van Duzer, a pizza shop owner widely-publicized for bear-hugging President Barack Obama and St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara started visiting the Garden Terrace every Tuesday afternoon. The pair brought a football, a few friends, and a few pizzas. They asked for nothing except some company on the long-neglected playground. Before long, the pair had been joined by dozens of kids of all ages from the community and other community members who also wanted to take the First Step towards a stronger community.

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