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Former NFL players, United Way Fuel up to Play 60 at Hilton Elementary

9/6/2013, 6 a.m.
Former NFL players Jamal Lewis and Duane Starks teamed up with the United Way and Dairy Management Inc.’s “Fuel Up to PLAY 60” program on a community service project at Hilton Elementary School in Baltimore on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 in celebration of the return of football in the host city of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. “Fuel Up to Play 60” is a program founded by the National Dairy Council and the NFL in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture, that empowers students to take charge of their health by making small, everyday changes at school. Gar Roberts

— Former NFL players Jamal Lewis and Duane Starks teamed up with the United Way and Dairy Management Inc.’s “Fuel Up to PLAY 60” program on a community service project at Hilton Elementary School in Baltimore on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 in celebration of the return of football in the host city of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.

Players and volunteers transformed the area behind the school to a healthy living functional space complete with a greenhouse, garden beds, Born Learning Trail and new play equipment designed to inspire creativity, learning and cooperation among students.

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Former Raven Duane Starks greets students at Hilton Elementary School.

"For over 13 years I have always given back to the community, whether it was in Miami or Baltimore. Play 60 and the United Way are organizations that have given to the community and have impacted me. I wanted to be involved in giving back to Hilton Elementary School, building them a playground, teaching them about health and fitness, how to stay fit and how to eat as well. This is an amazing thing, and I love to do it and being nice, because it’s nice to be important, but its more important to be nice," former NFL player Duane Starks said.

The community build is one of several events that took place throughout Baltimore during the NFL’s season kickoff week. Other events include the NFL PLAY 60 Youth Football Festival at Patterson Park and a kickoff concert featuring Keith Urban at the Maryland Science Center prior to the Ravens-Broncos game on Thursday, September 5, 2013.

Samuel Howard, a BGE employee, who was a volunteer at the event said, "I think its a great experience, working with the children building up something that they can be proud of. As a father of two, this means a lot to help the students stay fit.”

“Fuel Up to Play 60” is a program founded by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with USDA that empowers students to take charge in making small, everyday changes at school. Students can win cool prizes, like an NFL player visit or Super Bowl tickets, for choosing good-for-you foods and getting active for at least 60 minutes every day. Fuel Up to Play 60 wants kids to make a difference not only in their lives, but also their community.