‘Big Apple’ can’t take the

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 17, 2000

country out of Fred Baxter


Sports Editor

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Playing in the National Football League was always New York Jets’ tightend Fred Baxter’s dream, now he wants to help others realize and experience there’s.

And while the NFL and playing professional football has forced him to move to one of the biggest cities in the world and brought him wealth and prosperity, he has never forgotten where he came from. Sometimes the city can’t make you forget where your roots lay.

"I’m a country boy so the city life can get tiresome sometimes," Baxter said. "I like to come back and slow down for a little while. I’m more family oriented and like coming home to visit my friends down here and seeing people that watched me grow up.

"I like to show them that I’m still the same ole Fred," he said laughing. "Just a little bit bigger and a little more money."

This weekend Fred is coming home and bringing friends. While it will most definitely be a social visit, Baxter and a number of his Pro-Athlete friends will be set to a purpose as well.

Over the weekend Baxter has decided to set up numerous events and appearances that will help raise money for the Pike County chapter of "Relay for Life" and to improve the Pike County High School weight room facilities, known by most as "The Dog House."

"It was brought to my attention that the weight facility where I had worked out in high school needed some work on it," Baxter said. "At first it was just going to be a little basketball game that I could help raise money for it. Then I started thinking about me giving back to the community and thought that I could start a foundation that could help not only my high school, but the people in my community."

From those first thoughts, Baxter has decided to set up a "Fred Baxter Foundation," That will hold benefits for the county and will hold this "All-Star Weekend" on an annual basis.

"It’s just something that I wanted to do," Baxter said. "It’s been a long dream of mine to make it into the league and now that I’ve made it and been there for eight years, I want to give back to the community that help me to get where I am now."