Former NFL Player Vonta Leach Kickoff Speaker for United Way
Former All-Pro and Super Bowl champion Vonta Leach will be the keynote speaker for the United Way of Eastern Shore of Virginia’s Kickoff Breakfast on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8:30 a.m. at the ESCC Workforce Development Center, Melfa.
Leach, who played fullback for the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens and was selected All-Pro three times, has been praised for his service to the community, having received a 2008 President Volunteer Service Award from President George W. Bush. Leach has helped keep his high school’s football program afloat and remains so close with his high school coach that he flew Mike Brill and his family out to Hawaii to watch him play in the 2013 Pro Bowl.
Signed to a three-year, $11 million contract by the Ravens in 2011, Leach helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII over the San Francisco 49ers. The 6-foot, 262-pound fullback opened up big holes for Raven running backs and was named to his third Pro Bowl. In Houston, he was the lead blocker for Arian Foster, who led the NFL with 1,616 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.
Leach was also the Baltimore Ravens’ representative for United Way. “He’s the ultimate character guy in both having character and being a character. He’s both,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in an interview with the Baltimore Sun. “Those are the most fun guys to be around. Great leader, hard worker and just a lot of laughs.”
Raised in Rowland, N.C., Leach starred at South Robeson High School and attended East Carolina University, signing as an undrafted free agent with the Texans.
Fulfilling a promise he made to his mother, late grandmother and high school coach, Leach received his college degree nearly eight years after he completed his football eligibility at East Carolina University.
In 2007, he found the Vonta Leach Foundation to create innovative programs that provide access to educational, recreational and healthy living initiatives designed to positively aid in the development of youth.
“We are thrilled to have a speaker the caliber of Vonta Leach for our kickoff event,” said Robie Marsh, co-chairman this year’s fundraising drive for United Way of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. “Vonta’s commitment to serving his community and assisting youth to have a better future is the perfect tie-in to our campaign theme, “Give Where You Live…Our Home, Our Future.”
The United Way has raised almost $6 million since being established in 1991. Costs are kept low with one part-time employee and the efforts of local volunteers.
To attend the kick-off luncheon or have your organization involved in the 2015 United Way Campaign, contact Dawn Byrd at 757-787-5622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.