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NFL star never forgets about helping hometown

Posted: 2:29 PM, Apr 06, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-07 08:22:17-04
This weekend NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin will host his 12th Q-Fest
 
It includes free events that let fans get close to NFL stars in Boldin's hometown of Pahokee.
 
The event kicks off Thursday with a charity golf tournament at PGA National Resort & Spa.
 
On Friday, Boldin will host a celebrity basketball game at Pahokee Middle Sr. High School with more than 25 NFL players. Fans will be able to meet players and get autographs. 
 
On Saturday there will be a "Fun Day in the Park" at Anquan Boldin Stadium in Pahokee where there will be live music, food, and activities.
 
The basketball game and day in the park are both free and open to the public. 
 
This year Boldin is the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year. The award recognizes one NFL player above others for work in the community. 
 
"For me, Pahokee is home," Boldin says, "If you can make it in Pahokee, you can make it anywhere."
 
For years, Boldin's impact has been felt in his hometown.
 
93-year-old Lucille Williams is living proof of that.
 
Just 8 months ago she lived in a home with no running water, floors covered in trash, and a caved-in ceiling.
 
"One night I laid down and I said, 'Lord I'm not able to do for myself and I need you to send me somebody to help,' " Williams says. 
 
Her church helped, and so did someone she never met before:  Anquan Boldin.
 
"I don't think anybody should live in that type of environment," Boldin said.
 
When Boldin heard of Lucille's situation he helped get her, and her brother Alphonso, a new clean place to live in Pahokee. 
 
"If I see anybody in that situation, Pahokee or not Pahokee. I'm going to try to help them in anyway that I can," Boldin says.
 
Many first heard Boldin's name during his high school days in Pahokee. 
 
After high school, he became a football star at Florida State and a Super Bowl champion with the Baltimore Ravens.
 
But Boldin doesn't forget where his story started.
 
"Anything that needs to be done, people foreclosing on their homes, I mean, I've never heard him tell anyone no," says Boldin's cousin Hikeem Banks. 
 
Boldin's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is now proudly on display in his home. One that's special because it recognizes him above all others in the NFL for helping others.
 
"I think it's only right," Boldin says, "For me giving back has no limits, has no limits on color, ethnicity, or religion, location. I think if there is a need you help people."
 
At this weekend's Q-Fest, his Anquan Boldin foundation will give three $10,000 college scholarships to local students.
 
"We want to afford the kids in the Glades a chance to further their education and go out have a career and be able to take care of the families," Boldin says.
 
Like Boldin has done.
 
Never forgetting about the people living where he grew up, like Lucille.
 
"I want to hug him and thank God for him," Lucille says.
 
Boldin is making sure people who know him for football, know what his Palm Beach County hometown means to him.
 
"I just wanted to be successful. To show people what Pahokee looks like. I think I am a perfect example of what the people of Pahokee looks like," Boldin says.