NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown confirmed as GOOD speaker

DOWNEY - Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, a three-time NFL MVP who has dedicated the past two decades to saving troubled children and adults from a life of crime and self-destruction, will serve as the keynote speaker at the April 22 Gangs Out of Downey luncheon at the Rio Hondo Event Center.Brown's appearance was confirmed at GOOD's regular meeting this week. Brown is expected to speak on the Amer-I-Can program, a self-help training program he founded in 1988. The program addresses several life issues, including drug and alcohol abuse, family relationships, emotional control, decision-making, goal-setting, and more. The program operates in a peer group setting with the help of a trained facilitator. Amer-I-Can has been successfully implemented in prisons, juvenile halls, probation camps, school campuses, and local communities, officials said. Sponsored by a grant from Mace Siegel, Amer-I-Can opened an office at Stonewood Center last year. Brown used a combination of speed, power and agility to dominate during his nine years in the NFL. He rushed for 12,312 yards (8th all-time) and ran for 106 touchdowns. He is the career leader in yards-per-game average (104.3) and yards-per-carry (5.2), and led the NFL in rushing eight times, including five straight seasons (1957-61). Brown was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, and was named by Sporting News as the greatest NFL player of all time. The luncheon is GOOD's main fundraising event of the year and sells out annually. Ticket information is forthcoming. For information on Amer-I-Can, call Julian Mendoza or Rock Johnson at (562) 299-1163. Other news Brown's confirmation as speaker was not the only positive news coming from GOOD's meeting this week. President Carol Rowland said 92 volunteers attended Keep Downey Beautiful's latest clean-up near Brookshire Park. Held the day before President Barack Obama's inauguration, Rowland said many children attended the clean-up. Lisa Fox, of Downey's Public Works department, said 65,000 square feet of graffiti was removed in Downey last month. Apollo and Furman parks, with areas of South Downey, have seen rises in graffiti, but overall graffiti is down, Fox said. Fox attributed the overall decline to aggresive cost reimbursement efforts by the city, and more local residents are reporting graffiti through the city's 24-hour hotline number, (562) 923-4484. Downey Police Department officials said a teenage girl was recently accosted by gang members who threw oranges at her and used a handgun to rob her of her cell phone. The robbery was part of a Florencia 13 gang initiation, police officials said. The girl managed to call her mother, who works for the California Highway Patrol, and provided the car's license plate number, which Downey detectives used to make an arrest. Police officials said they have also noticed gang activity near Paramount Boulevard and Comolette Street. ********** Published: February 6, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 42