Michael Vick is big on second chances: He served a prison sentence for participating in a dog-fighting ring and then returning to the NFL as the Eagles quarterback.
So, when he saw Atlantic City was hit by Hurricane Sandy, he knew he had to act, he said Thursday, in a return trip to the resort. He first visited those displaced about a week after the storm hit.
Vick drove 14 hours on his own after taking a pounding in a Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints to keep his promise to be there that day, Mayor Lorenzo Langford said during a reception at Kelsey’s on Kentucky Avenue.
“I live only 40 miles away,” Vick said of his home in Sewell, Gloucester County.
“Where I am could just as easily have been affected. I’m all about second chances of any kind.”
“After Superstorm Sandy, Mike was the first one to say, how can I help,” Langford’s wife, Nynell, said.
On Tuesday, Vick first went to Boardwalk Hall where he told students that they need to help their community and “be resilient. Without you, the world won’t evolve.”
“I really love him,” said Ahlycia Reed, 14, an eighth-grader at Chelsea Heights School.
“I think it’s a good idea for him to come here,” said her classmate Evonne Algarin, also 14. “I admire him.”
A tour of the Boardwalk was cut short by an outdoor interview of Vick and Langford — via satellite — with CNN’s Piers Morgan, in which Langford stressed that the city was open.
After the storm, several national media outlets erroneously reported that the city’s Boardwalk had been destroyed. Langford said he made sure now that they knew that was wrong.
Vick said he was glad to return to see things are ready for the summer.
“It was weighing heavy on my heart,” he said. “You all will probably see me in Atlantic City a lot more now.”
LineRocket Entertainment — which is partnering with Bobby Laws for several live entertainment events at Bader Field — donated $10,000 to Vick’s foundation. And Vick donated several of his books, “Finally Free,” to the city’s schools. Nynell Langford also urged those gathered at the reception to purchase one, as Vick sat at a table with a few dozen copies of the autobiography displayed.
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