Ryan Howard's big donation to public schools

CITY HALL - December 1, 2011

The students are taking a photo with Phillies First Baseman Ryan Howard, and his family's foundation has just given their athletic programs a major boost.

The foundation is donating close to $1.2 million dollars worth of Adidas shoes and clothing to 57 city high schools and four middle schools.

"When we look at the budget challenges the school district faces, it's important for us to each play our part," Howard said.

To thank Howard for his generosity, Mayor Nutter presented him with a replica of the Liberty Bell and encouraged others to help the city's students in whatever way they can.

"Everyone is responsible for the education of our children. Everyone can do something," Nutter said.

Baldi Middle School football player Zachary Dorsonne is among the students who will benefit from the donation.

"I'm just very thankful. It's going to help us and our school district get new equipment," Dorsonne said.

Howard is still limping and wearing a boot following surgery on his Achilles tendon. He hopes the new uniforms and gear will build self-confidence for the student-athletes.

"When you look good you feel good, when you feel good you play good," Howard said.

This isn't the only gift from the Ryan Howard Family Foundation. During the holidays, the group will be giving away turkeys, coats and school supplies to some 500 needy families.

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