Andre Berto to Make a $10,000 Contribution to the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club

WINTER HAVEN, FLA. – Welterweight World Champion Andre Berto (Winter Haven, Fla.) has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of the boxing ranks in his five years as a professional, but the 2004 Olympian hasn’t forgotten his roots. He will return to the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club on Friday, July 24 to make a $10,000 donation, and give a pride talk to the youngsters in attendance. “The Boys and Girls Club was like a second home for me as a kid. I want these kids to see that if they work hard enough, they can make their own dreams come true, just like I have,” Berto said. “I have been blessed through boxing and I want to share some of my blessings with the Boys and Girls Club and Polk County..

Berto will present the check to Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club Chief Professional Officer Walt Hall and members of the Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors in attendance at Friday’s event. He hopes that his financial donation can aid the Citrus Center Boys and Girls club in fulfilling its mission of enriching the lives of local boys and girls and providing a safe after-school environment in which kids can get help with their homework, participate in sports, learn respect for property and the rights of others, and simply have fun.

As a child, Berto spent endless hours in the Boys and Girls Club, which provided a positive and safe alternative to the negative influences of the streets. There was always one activity in particular that piqued the future world champion’s interest – Pride Talk. He would listen intently to the speakers, as they told the kids how they had emerged from the rough streets of Polk County to achieve their dreams. Berto often dreamt of giving his own Pride Talk as the NFL’s Ray Lewis and the NBA’s Tracy McGrady had done before him.

While he enjoyed the chance speak to the young people a few years into his professional career, Berto now looks forward to the chance to return to the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club and inspire the young people just as the earlier Pride Talks motivated him. Founded in 1955, the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club serves over 700 boys and girls each day throughout Polk County.

Friday’s event is his second with young people in the past 10 days as he recently held a boxing clinic for aspiring boxers at the LA Sands Boxing Gym in downtown Los Angeles. Following the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club event, Berto will join his family at brother, Edson’s Real Fighting Championships bout at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa on Friday night.

Article posted on 21.07.2009

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