If you're a football fan and an admirer of longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks, you may wonder what he's up to off the field.
"I'm basically doing the same thing I've always done," he told those attending the Founders Club breakfast to benefit the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg. "I'm just working out somewhere else," away from the Bucs training camp. Brooks was released after last season but said he hoped to play professionally again.
As head of Derrick Brooks Charities, he is active in numerous community efforts that focus on youths facing social and economic challenges. Among them is the Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School. The Tampa charter school will graduate its first class of 17 students on Monday. All will go on to college, he said.
And Brooks said he hopes to partner with an as-yet unnamed school in St. Petersburg to fight childhood obesity.
"Never be satisfied," he told the group. "Continue what you're doing, but do it better. Be committed. I'd rather have your time than your money. Stay motivated. Do not get discouraged. Be the words that you are saying."
The Tampa Bay Rays' Dick Crippen was master of ceremonies for the event, which included presentations by assistant St. Petersburg police Chief Luke Williams, PAL board of directors chair Robin Grabowski, and board of directors co-vice chairs Sean Kelly and Tim Walsh.
The fourth annual Building Hope Breakfast to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County drew 175 people to the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront.
The current economic challenges mean that not all of the residences are new construction, officials said; in some cases, foreclosed and distressed properties are being renovated.
Several persons who have been the beneficiaries of Habitat spoke of its effects.
Homeowner Lani Sovocool said Habitat helped her provide her children something other than "a legacy of poverty and debt." She and her family own a home they helped build in Largo and are foster parents to two teenage girls whose parents have drug abuse issues.
"My fiance, Steve, and I were in the driveway of the attorney's office to sign the closing papers on our Habitat home," Sovocool said, "when he pointed to a tree in the park next door and said, 'See that tree? I used to sleep under it.' "
The event raised more than $80,000 for the charity, whose aim is to supply affordable housing for people in need.
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To observe the centennial of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, members of the Salty Sisters women's sailing group hope to have former Salty Sisters join them at a Sept. 2 luncheon. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the ballroom of the club, 11 Central Ave. Admission is $16 before Aug. 26, $26 thereafter. Former members please call (727) 894-0161; current members, (727) 525-2984.