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Falcons associates pitch in at local nonprofit groups
0501Falcons
Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith helps paint a shed Friday at Challenged Child and Friends during All Associates Community Day. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Instead of stopping at the Atlanta Falcons training facility in Flowery Branch, team executives on Friday traveled farther up Interstate 985 to lend a helping hand in Gainesville.

“We’re very fortunate to be in the situation where we can give back,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. “And this is just a small way that we can do that — by giving a little sweat and putting in some hard work.”

About 165 took part in the organization’s All Associates Community Day. Some spent time at Challenged Child and Friends on Murphy Boulevard painting, landscaping and interacting with students, while others were busy completing landscaping projects at the Joseph F. Walters Boys and Girls Clubs on Memorial Park Drive.

“An important part of our work has always been to be our brother’s keeper,” said Arthur Blank, Falcons owner and CEO. “Because of the platform and profile of the Atlanta Falcons, we all feel a real sense of an opportunity to give back.”

Although community service is a large part of the Falcons organization, this is just the second associates day. Last year participants spent time beautifying the community surrounding the Georgia Dome.

In addition to Falcons’ administrators, associates with the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the AMB Group, the Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Centers and the PGA Tour Super Stores also participated.

“We’re just thrilled to have everyone here. We depend a lot on volunteers, especially during these tough economic times,” said J. David Earnest, Challenged Child executive director and CEO. “We have things in the physical plan — the fencing, some of the things that need washing and cleaning — that sometimes doesn’t get done to the extent that we would like for it to because we spend all of our money on the kids. So we really do appreciate them being here.”

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