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Former Raven speaks at Boys and Girls Club of Washington County dinner

April 25, 2013|By BRETT NIEVES | brett.nieves@herald-mail.com
  • Former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover signs autographs Thursday at the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County Steak and Burger Dinner fundraiser at Hager Hall Conference and Event Center in Hagerstown.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

The Boys and Girls Club of Washington County held its 23rd Annual Steak and Burger Dinner on Thursday night that featured former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover as the Keynote Speaker.

“It means the world to me to be able come here and help a cause that’s greater than any one person,” said Stover.

Stover played with Ravens from 1996-2008 and retired from the NFL after playing the 2009 season with the Indianapolis Colts. He was part of the Ravens’ Super Bowl championship team following the 2000 regular season and was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor in 2011.

“It means a lot to me the (Ravens’) organization thought that of me. I mean, all I did was kick a ball, but we won a lot of games,” Stover said with a smile. “There was more to just being a kicker and it’s really a privilege to play in the NFL.”

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Having children of his own, Stover understands that parents are not the only people that mold their children’s futures.

He said he is supportive of the Boys and Girls Club and was looking to deliver a certain message to each of the children in attendance.

“Understanding the pain of regret and how to avoid it because we all have it in our lives,” Stover said. “If I can get everyone — even the adults — to understand that we all have it, we all can be forgiven for it and we can move on from it.”

After spending 13 seasons in a Ravens uniform, Stover has a sense of loyalty to Baltimore and kept a close watch on his former team as they advanced through the playoffs on their way to a Super Bowl championship last season.

“I really enjoyed watching them and they became a team that was playing for something bigger than themselves,” Stover recalled. “Everyone has pain and hardships in their lives and the great ones are the ones who can overcome it. And that’s what the Ravens did.”

The Boys and Girls Club not only hosted Stover but also presented one if its own with a distinguished honor. Kianna Long was presented with the 2013 Andy Hoffman Youth of the Year Award and will receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

“I was excited because I know it’s going to help me with my books and all and is another thing that will help me out,” Long said.

Long, a senior at South Hagerstown High School, already has a plan for her future. She wants to attend Hagerstown Community College for two years before transferring to either Towson University or West Virginia University to study to become a veterinarian.

Long also said she enjoys the staff of the Boys and Girls Club, as well as mentoring her younger peers in the club.

“The staff is part of the family, and I like being able to stand out and be a role model for the younger kids,” Long said.

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