NFL players unite for charity
Former NFL player Ervin “Blueprint” Parker is hosting a charity Super Bowl party at his home Sunday to raise money for his youth leadership program.
Parker, who founded the Blueprint Leadership Academy, has spent the past three years making motivational presentations to students in the Georgetown County School District.
His program teaches students life skills, and it focuses on 10 principles: attitude, respect, honesty, faith, courage, self-esteem, self-determination, accountability, education and leadership.
“I think leadership training is something that is missing out of the school system. They don’t have a life skills program,” said Parker, who played as a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills.
Although Parker has made numerous presentations to schools in the state, most schools cannot afford to buy the workbooks that supplement his program.
As a result, he is hosting the Super Bowl party to help raise funds for more workbooks, which cost $10 to $15 apiece. He’s also hoping to expand the program to all fifth-graders throughout the state.
“For every principle in the book, it gives you an example and something to discuss. The biggest thing we do is everyone has to set a day-to-day goal,” he said.
Parker started the leadership program after he moved back to his home state in 2002.
“God led me to it. I was living in Seattle, Washington, and gave my life to Jesus Christ. He led me back home,” said Parker, who graduated from Choppee High School in Georgetown County.
The program “to me means more to me than when I was playing in the NFL. There’s nothing more powerful in life than impacting somebody else’s life,” he said.
“If you can motivate a young man or a young lady, they are going to do well.”
Motivation is something Parker understands. His start at South Carolina State University was delayed by the death of his father.
As a result, he joined the university’s football team late in the season. He was placed on the team’s practice squad and had to fight to earn his spot as a starter. His strong efforts eventually earned him his nickname.
His college coach gave him the nickname “Blueprint” because Parker would hit people so hard he would leave a “print” or a bruise.
The Super Bowl party starts at 1 p.m. at Parker’s home at 1537 Postfoot Circle in Georgetown off U.S. 701.
For a $10 donation, attendees to the Super Bowl party will get to view the game from 50-inch plasma television screens from an outside sun deck at his home and have food, games and a chance to meet several other former National Football League players.
For a $40 donation, attendees will get to view the game inside Parker’s home alongside former NFL players such as Charlie Brown of the Washington Redskins and Donnell Woolford of the Chicago Bears.
Also expected to attend are James “Jumpy” Geathers, who played for the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos and Robert Geathers Jr. of the Cincinnati Bengals.