Carolina Panthers gift $200,000 to help fund new Spartanburg ath - FOX Carolina 21

Carolina Panthers gift $200,000 to help fund new Spartanburg athletic field

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Carolina Panthers score big with $200,000 gift for Spartanburg athletic field. (FOX Carolina/ July 27, 2017) Carolina Panthers score big with $200,000 gift for Spartanburg athletic field. (FOX Carolina/ July 27, 2017)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Carolina Panthers are in Spartanburg for training camp. They were greeted with welcome signs and by cheering fans. Some say the moves they're making off the field is what really scores big with those who live in the community.

"It's a good investment," Dreese Williams said.

He lives off Howard Street and his home is close to where a new Dr. T.K. Gregg Community Center will be built.

"They can go workout or go play with their fitness at the community center right across the street, so that's cool," Williams said.

He says children need mentors and something productive to do.

"I had a mentor when I was younger," Williams said. "When I was like 14 to 18, he showed me everything, like how to turn in applications."

The Carolina Panthers gave Spartanburg City's Northside Development Group a $200,000 gift as part of a grant to fund an athletic field at the new community center.

"We're working to try to take a vision and do something with it for the Northside of Spartanburg," Bill Barnet said.

He's the former mayor of Spartanburg and is now chairman of the Northside Development Group. The group manages redevelopment for the Northside area of town. 

"If we don't invest in our kids - particularly our kids of poverty, kids who have challenging lives and come from circumstances which are difficult - we're all going to pay a large price," Barnet said.

Little league football and soccer teams will play on the turf field.

"It can accentuate the skill set that kids need to be a Cam Newton, or Greg Olsen, or Luke Kuechly," Barnet said.

Williams believes the Panthers' gift shows the team cares, and how players are mentors, themselves, in their own ways.

"Having a mentor changed me, because if I wouldn't have had it I don't know where I'd be at," Williams said.

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