49ers star Vernon Davis launches program to help kids in Richmond apartment complex
on March 30, 2012
San Francisco 49ers star Vernon Davis has brought a lot of magic to the football field during his six seasons in the NFL. On Thursday, he focused his efforts on helping young people in the Crescent Park Apartments.
Davis, joined by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, EAH Housing President and CEO Mary Murtagh and others, announced the launch of “Positive Impact Project,” which will remodel Crescent Park’s Multicultural Family Resource Center facilities.
The makeover of the Multicultural Family Resource Center, which provides residents with educational services and recreational space, will include new artwork, computers and other amenities. Work is scheduled to be completed in about a year.
The initiative is a partnership between the Vernon and Vontae Davis Family Foundation and the interior design company Davis co-founded, Modern Class Design, along with nonprofit EAH Housing, which owns the 378-unit apartment complex.
“I’d like to thank everyone for being here to share this groundbreaking event with us here today,” Davis told more than 80 residents, children and local leaders.
Davis told attendees that he was raised along with by his grandmother in a tough Washington D.C. neighborhood. Sports was his ticket to the University of Maryland, where he majored in studio art while excelling on the football field.
In late 2010, Davis founded Modern Class Design (MCD) with business partner Antone Barnes. Modern Class Design is a full-service fine arts and interior design company that offers design services for homes and commercial spaces including interiors and landscape architecture.
The contribution amounts that will be given the foundation, MCD and EAH Housing have not yet been finalized.
Richmond Police officials were also on hand Thursday. Captain Anthony Williams praised Davis for bringing his philanthropy to Richmond. “I can’t say enough how grateful I am that someone of [Davis’] caliber and character is willing to give back to the people of Richmond,” Williams said.
At the end of the presentation, Davis unveiled an interactive mural project started by Bay Area artist Jonathan Brumfield. The mural, titled “Imagination,” depicts a tree with branches sprouting in all directions. The concept was selected by Davis, and came from 10-year-old Alex Scott, who lives in the apartments. The mural hanging in the multipurpose room will continue to grow, Davis said, because local kids will add their own artistic touches to the canvas.
Barnes, Davis’ Modern Class Design co-founder, said kids needed to embrace academic achievement to overcome obstacles. “You can be successful in life without being a rapper, or a football star or basketball start,” Barnes said. “Get good grades in school, go to college, don’t worry about being cool.”
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