Lawrence High School football players surprise residents with kindness

Members of the Lawrence High School football program surprised four families affected by cancer. Pictured from left: Gregg Zenerovitz, athletic director; football players Tolu Olajide, Diesel Barnes and Jalen Burks; and Coach Rob Radice. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAM PASTERELLA
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Members of the Lawrence High School football program surprised four families affected by cancer. Pictured from left: Gregg Zenerovitz, athletic director; football players Tolu Olajide, Diesel Barnes and Jalen Burks; and Coach Rob Radice. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAM PASTERELLA

Three Lawrence High School (LHS) varsity football team captains extended acts of kindness to people combating their own challenges.

Players Tolu Olajide, Diesel Barnes and Jalen Burks; Coach Rob Radice; and Athletic Director Gregg Zenerovitz surprised four Lawrence families impacted by breast cancer on Nov. 16. The players delivered to each family flowers, a “pink out” t-shirt and a $200 gift card to Pennington Market for Thanksgiving dinner.

“Great experience. It showed me that life is bigger than football and that there’s nothing wrong with being a helping hand to people in need,” Barnes said in a statement provided by LHS.

“It was an amazing experience beyond football. It showed me that everyone goes through tough times in their life and nobody’s life is perfect, and everyone can use a little help in their life when in need. There is nothing wrong with helping others, especially when you have the ability and desire to do so,” Burks said in the statement.

The experience was definitely a life lesson taught and an eye-opening experience. It showed me that people always have it even harder than you. No matter what it is, just goes to show you how strong all of these families are. Each and every last family we visited all faced adversity and the way they are battling and overcoming all these difficulties is the amazing part. Overall, I’m just so glad and honored I was able to participate in such a great experience. It also hit closer to home because these were all families that live in our wonderful community,” Olajide said in the statement.

The football team and booster club raised funds for the gifts with the sale of pink t-shirts last fall.