Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty, who keeps a home on Hilton Head Island, will help lead a Fellowship of Christian Athletes service project Saturday morning to spruce up Chaplain Park.
Attendees will be divided into crews to do light landscaping, mulching and general cleanup at the park. Canty will welcome participants at 9 a.m., and deliver a lunchtime message. The event is open to all Lowcountry student-athletes from seventh grade through high school.
The project is a joint enterprise between the South Coastal FCA and the Chris Canty Foundation.
“He really has a heart for this type of thing,” said Lisa Richardson, area representative for South Coastal FCA. “He does (similar projects) in New York and Charlotte, and he wants to bring some of that to our local kids as well.”
Canty, an 11-year NFL veteran who previously played for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, has made the Lowcountry an offseason home since 2013. He has spoken several times with local youths, be it local football teams or kids at the Island Recreation Center.
“It’s a great opportunity for kids to help out in the park and give back to the community,” Richardson said. “And they’ll get to hear a message from a true athlete that has worked hard. He wasn’t a first-round pick, but has worked to stay in the league for 11 seasons.”
Canty was a late fourth-round pick in 2005, though he likely would have gone higher if not for torn knee ligaments during his senior season at Virginia. He played four years with the Cowboys, then four more in New York that included a Super Bowl crown in 2011.
The Chris Canty Foundation began as a football camp in 2007 and has grown into a grassroots endeavor focused on spirituality and service.
“I know it’s a blessing every time I run onto the field,” he once said. “I think about how far I’ve come and what I’ve been through.”
Students can earn community service hours through the project. For more information, go online to SouthCoastalFCA.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.