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Graham announced as Tate football camp opening-night speaker

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Life advisor Stedman Graham was recently named the keynote speaker at the kickoff of the first annual Coach Tate Foundation Youth Football Camp.

The camp’s opening ceremony – which is open to the public – is scheduled for June 21 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Johnny Tate Sr. Field behind the R.O. Huffman Center.

Graham is the author of 10 books, including two New York Times best-sellers, and is a former adjunct professor at Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

In 1985, Graham founded AAD Education, Health and Sports (formerly, Athletes Against Drugs), a nonprofit organization with over 500 professional athletes and other civic leaders committed to developing leadership in underserved youth. AAD has served over 15,000 students and has awarded $1.5 million in scholarships.

Graham serves on several boards, including the national board of Junior Achievement (JA) and the 7-Eleven Education Is Freedom Foundation, and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. He is also actively involved in leadership efforts and programs in South Africa and is founder of Concerned Citizens of Whitesboro and Concerned Citizens of Lake Waccamaw.

Graham has also built a strong reputation for helping organizations and individuals succeed. As chairman and CEO of S. Graham and Associates (SGA), Graham is widely known and highly regarded as a speaker and businessman.

“While education is important, we get fooled into believing it’s the principal tool for growth as we memorize, take a test, get labeled with a grade and regurgitate information to teacher,” said Graham.

The Coach Tate Foundation is the pioneer of a concept entitled, “Communities in Education through Sports, Arts, and Music” (CIE-SAM). The purpose supports a conclusion that sports, arts and entertainment can be used as a way to teach students how to develop skills demanded of them in the 21st Century; for example, music can be used to teach mathematical principles, art can be used to encourage creativity, and engaging in sports builds leadership, character, teamwork, and responsibility.

“We have the answers within our community to solve the problems of our community,” said Phrantceena Thate, eldest daughter of Coach Johnny Tate, Sr. and founder of the Coach Tate Foundation.

Coach Tate mentored students in the Burke County area for more than 40 years, including during his 35 years at the R.O. Huffman Center in Drexel.

The Coach Tate Foundation Football camp (June 21-25 at Draughn High School) will be run by four players from the NFL’s Washington Redskins – Lorenzo Alexander, Chris Wilson, Vonnie Holliday and Kedric Golston – who will be joined by community volunteers.

The camp is open to children ages 6 through 12 and will feature hands-on instruction in football basics, plus playing time. The $40 registration fee includes a T-shirt, water bottle and mouth guard, as well as lunch each day. Scholarships are available. For more information or to register, contact Amy Crossman at 704-887-3444 or, or visit

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