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Malcolm Kelly Leads Charity Trip to Liberia

Jason La Canfora -- on vacation, but still at least mildly plugged in -- passed this along for the blog. To quote Jasno, "This is pretty cool."

Press release text follows ...

Malcolm Kelly, former standout receiver at the University of Oklahoma and 2nd Round draft pick of the Washington Redskins, will lead a group of private citizens to the African Nation of Liberia, from July 5th through the 10th on behalf of the global charity, Mercy Ships. The "Vision Trip" is designed to shed light on the medical relief effort Mercy Ships is providing for the people of Liberia, as they continue to improve their health and well-being standards within the country.
During the weeklong trip, the group will visit with staff on the Mercy Ships' flagship, Africa Mercy, the world's largest non-governmental hospital ship, which is docked in the port city of Monrovia - the capitol of Liberia. The group will view surgeries in one of Africa Mercy's six state-of-the-art surgical suites, and tour parts of the country, now recovering from more than a decade of civil war. Malcolm will also meet with Liberian officials and hold an international press conference before leaving Liberia.
He will also spend a day working out with members of the 2008 Liberian Olympic Team. Malcolm has enlisted the help of his own personal trainer, world-renowned sports performance coach, Chip Smith and Competitive Edge Sports, based out of Atlanta, Georgia, to help train the Liberian athletes and generate support for sports in Liberia. The Liberian government is expecting several thousand spectators, coaches and athletes to attend the training session.
Mercy Ships is a global charity that has operated hospital ships in developing nations since 1978. Mercy Ships brings hope and healing to the forgotten poor by mobilizing people and resources worldwide. A crew of both professional medical and non-medical volunteers serves all people without regard for race, gender, or religion. They are scheduled to perform more than 7000 medical procedures during their 2008 Field Service. After his involvement in college with the East Texas based charity, located only 25 miles from his hometown of Longview, Texas, Malcolm named Mercy Ships as his charity of choice soon after declaring himself eligible for the 2008 NFL Draft.
"I'm honored and humbled to play a small part in this effort to bring both hope and healing to the people of Liberia," said Kelly. "As I have come to know the history and spirit of the Liberian people through Mercy Ships, I feel a real connection to the country. I admire the way they are rebuilding their future and I want to do everything I can to help. My folks always taught me that giving is better than receiving...unless of course it is on the football field."

By Jon DeNunzio  |  June 24, 2008; 4:34 PM ET
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