By Anastasia Marchese
It is the dream of many boys and young men to play in the NFL, and one hometown native is living the dream.
Michael Burton is from Long Valley and attended West Morris Central High School where he spent four years playing for the Wolfpack. After high school Burton went on to Rutgers where he started his college football career as a walk on and by his senior year, he was named Team Captain.
He was also awarded the Paul Robeson Award for “performance, leadership and dedication on and off the field.”
His first season with the NFL was in 2015 in which he was named to Mel Kiper’s All Rookie Team. He currently plays fullback for the Detroit Lions.
All this success has not made Burton forget his home town or his West Morris Central High roots.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to New Jersey and hosting my first football camp,” he says. “These are the people that helped make me into the person I am today and I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned with young kids in the area. The idea that I can do this while also helping out Embrace Kids Foundation, which does such incredible work for children and families battling cancer, makes this a win-win. We are going to have a lot of fun on June 25th.”
The camp will be held at West Morris Central High School and is open to children ages of five to 14. The camp starts at 10 a.m. and concludes at 1 p.m. on June 25th.
The participants will take part in non-contact football drills and receive training tips. T-Shirt’s and an autographed picture of Burton are included with the $30 per camper fee. Food and drinks will be provided after the training and exercises are over are completed. Cleats are optional, not mandatory.
Not only is Burton excited to host his first football camp on hometown soil, but the partnership with the Embrace Kids Foundations makes it a double give back.
According to their mission statement, “Embrace Kids Foundation exists to lighten the burden and improve the quality of life for children with cancer, sickle cell and other serious disorders in the NJ/NY City metropolitan area. Underlying all of our programs is our goal to help maintain as much normalcy as possible in our patients’ lives by addressing the spiritual, emotional and financial issues of the kids and their families. We believe that addressing the needs of the patient and families as a whole is a critical part of caring for the child.”
Started in 1990, by a group of medical professionals along with parents and patient’s friends, it has grown to the point where in 2013 it was able to provide more than $1.4 million in services to children and their families, according to its website.
In 1990, parents, friends and medical professionals joined together to raise funds for children with cancer and other serious disorders. What started as a modest grassroots effort has grown and flourished into an impressive organization and a solid volunteer network of parents, patients, professionals, community leaders and students.
In 2013, Embrace Kids Foundation provided more than $1.4 million in services to children and families throughout the NJ and NY area. The child patients range in age from infancy to young adulthood and encompass all ethnic and social backgrounds. The family programs and support services are offered at absolutely no cost to the family.