Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin and his teammates are working hard preparing to face the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game this Sunday. Boldin led the Ravens in receiving this year with 57 receptions for 887 yards and 3 TDs. If the Ravens can repeat their 2010 performance, when they knocked the Patriots out of the playoffs, they will be on to the Super Bowl.
Boldin, the 9-year veteran and All-Pro, had 4 receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown last weekend against the tough Texans defense, who were ranked 3rd against the pass. The Patriots are 31st against the pass, and gave up 100 more yards per game than the Texans defense, so Boldin hopes to improve upon that performance.
In the meantime, I am excited to create pieces for Boldin’s wife, Dionne, who is one of my long time clients! In fact, I enjoy creating for her so much that I keep a special stock of purple fabrics that I purchase throughout the year just waiting for her to call and order something. She hasn’t always been a “jersey” wearer to games, but over the last couple years we have created some FABULOUS pieces for her, and Anquan has taken note. Now, before games he asks her if she will be wearing a jersey or not! I take that as a fantastic compliment. When the man of the house takes note of a special piece we have created, that’s a high honor.
I LOVE every single one of my clients and enjoy creating pieces for them and outfitting them on game day and beyond. But I have to admit there are some clients I especially enjoy creating for solely because of their team colors. I know, I know! That sounds so bad. There are only so many cool fabrics to choose from in the combinations of yellow and forest green or red, white and blue. But purple and black! Two of my favorite colors to work with and WEAR!
Dionne and Anquan first met as children, while they were in the fifth grade in Florida, but they didn’t begin dating until high school. They dated all through high school and college for a total of 10 years before they actually married (can you say patient!?… I thought I waited a long time!).
One morning upon waking, Dionne found an engagement ring waiting for her on her nightstand that Anquan strategically left for her to find. They went on to have a small immediate-family-only wedding in Jamaica (Dionne is Jamaican) that included rock climbing that the entire family got (had!) to enjoy.
Anquan and Dionne formed the Anquan Boldin “Q81” Foundation during his sophomore season with a mission to bring hope to underprivileged children. Well known throughout the league for his work ethic, his character, and his professionalism, Anquan is also known for his generosity in giving back to his community as evidenced by his charitable activities in both Arizona and his home state of Florida. This past summer, Pahokee Middle/High School named their playing field the Anquan Boldin Stadium. He is also proud to have been awarded the “Distinguished Service” and “Key To The City” Awards for His Generosity and Positive Leadership in the Pahokee Community.
Just a few of the charitable things the foundation handles are:
Dental Care – Dental Care for underprivileged youth to address urgent dental care needs, specifically children who are being profoundly impacted by chronic dental conditions such as jaw deformities, overbites, under-bites, impacted and symptomatic wisdom teeth.
Free Life Insurance – The Anquan Boldin Foundation and Bible Church of God aid in delivering Free Life Insurance to low-income families to pay for their children’s education should the mother or father pass away. Thanks to this program and partnership, thousands will be offered free, 10-year term life insurance policy with a face value of up to $50,000
Home Energy Program – The Anquan Boldin Foundation has teamed with the SRP Electric Services to provide Phoenix-area families with home energy checkups. Assessments offer recommendations about ways to reduce energy use in the home as well as inspect windows and doors for possible air leaks and missing or broken weather stripping, visually inspect appliances to ensure clean condenser coils, clean/unobstructed vents and tight gaskets, review and discuss lighting in each room — incandescent vs. fluorescent lighting, and demonstrate where heat is entering the house. Additionally, families will be given an energy efficiency basket valued over $100.
In addition they provide youth and after school programs with special events and gifts during the holidays and additional times throughout the year with: Holiday Dinners,Holiday Shopping Sprees, Back to School items, Technology Equipment, Football Equipment, YFL Trips to NFL games.
And that is NOT ALL that the foundation does but is just a sampling of the tremendously giving and caring organizations charity. Please go to www.Q81.org to see all that they do for the communities that they have called home.
While writing this short piece on the Boldins and learning a little bit more about them this verse kept coming to mind…..Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7
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Leah J. Miller made her name as a personal designer and custom outfitter to MLB, NBA and NFL families with the launch of Bella Artistry. Known affectionately throughout the professional sports industries as “The Diamond Duchess”, she has been custom tailoring and embellishing the official jerseys and wardrobes of ballers’ significant others and children with Swarovski crystals since 1999. Her designs have been featured in the 2008, 2009, and 2010 HBO Hard Knocks football training camp special as well as the Washington Post, and the Diamond Duchess will make her debut as a Costume Designer this Fall for the ABC-TV drama Ghostbreakers. You can learn more about Bella Artistry and see many of Leah’s creations by clicking here.
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