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ESPN Analyst leads group to help fatherless boys

March 1, 2009

Weekend National News Focus:

MOBILE, Alabama, Feb. 24 /Christian Newswire/ — Mike Gottfried, former University of Pittsburgh football coach and current ESPN analyst, is president and founder with his wife Mickey, of Team Focus, a comprehensive community outreach program for fatherless boys spanning from California to Washington, D.C., which was started in 2000. Team Focus mentors boys without fathers due to death, incarceration, divorce or other life situations.

Mike’s vision and drive for the program is based on his own life experiences as his father died in his arms when he was just 10 years old. Gottfried states: “Growing up without a father around and knowing what it feels like, I have a desire to provide a place for young men to come and be encouraged, motivated, and challenged.”

The goal of Team Focus is to provide young men that do not have a father figure in their lives, ages 10 – 18, with daily leadership skills, guidance, Godly values, and a continual daily relationship with a mentor. Through teamwork with families, teachers and counselors, Team Focus offers support in a relaxed, cost-free atmosphere and over 1300 boys have been to Team Focus leadership camps.

In the summer of 2007, Team Focus was honored to have The First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Laura Bush, come to Mobile, Alabama, to visit Team Focus during their national leadership camp. Among other involvement at the camp, Mrs. Bush was part of a panel discussion with Team Focus campers, mothers, mentors and Coach Mike Gottfried.

Team Focus began with “Camp Focus”, a single summer camp, with the goal to teach the things a father usually teaches to a young boy: how to fish, tie a tie, be courteous and balance a checkbook. Those selected for camp were exposed to a wide variety of social and educational skills to help them as they advance through school and their lives. Today, Team Focus provides activities throughout the year for its members to develop life-long friendships and participate in new and different life experiences.

Team Focus has grown tremendously over the years and the organization continues to move forward “guiding young men to the ultimate victory.” They remind these boys what Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, ” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.”

  
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