North picks right Mann for fund-raising job

April 07, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Defensive lineman Charles Mann knew his playing days were winding to a close during the Washington Redskins' training camp in 1993. That's when he came face to face with the inevitable question everyone asks.

What am I going to do with the rest of my life?

Mann's answer came with help from three teammates whose careers were also winding down - wide receiver Art Monk, running back Earnest Byner and defensive tackle Tim Johnson.

"We were traveling from Dickinson College to Lehigh (University) for a preseason game, and the four of us were talking," said Mann, a four-time Pro-Bowl selection and three-time Super Bowl champion, Tuesday night at North Hagerstown High School's fundraiser for the Mike Callas Stadium project. "We were dreaming of doing something in the community that would last a long time."


"Something" became the Good Samaritan Foundation of Washington. The concept was simple - provide a select number of inner-city children with job-related skill workshops in preparation for an eight-week internship that would better prepare them to become leaders in the work force.

That simple premise has grown into a year-round program which gives opportunities for more than 50 students to develop skills and talents necessary in the workplace.

Much like North Hagerstown is trying to raise funds to build better athletic facilities to provide more opportunities for its students, the Good Samaritan Foundation is trying to raise funds for its own facilities in Washington. It just happens that the cost of both facilities is the same - $2.3 million, according to Mann.

There are other reasons why Mann chose to speak on behalf of the Mike Callas Stadium fund-raising efforts.

First and foremost are the lessons he learned through the teamwork, discipline and dedication it takes to be successful in team sports.

"There's so much in the development of young people in athletics," Mann said. "So much of what I learned in life came from athletics. (Redskins coach) Joe Gibbs taught me a lot. We will win with him. I do a postgame show, and after every game, I'm defending him. People forget, (he won) three rings. Three rings."

Then there is the idea of investing in the future, an idea close to Mann's heart since he has three children.

"I commend you all for caring about future generations," Mann told those at the fund-raiser. "I live through my children. I want them to have the best."

Mann was drafted by the Redskins in 1983 and earned Super Bowl rings with Washington in 1988 and 1992 and with San Francisco in 1995. He finished his career with 83 sacks.

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