Celebrities come to town

Two National Football League players are laying down their helmets and returning home for a benefit weekend of pleasure and purpose.

Tallahasseean’s Earl Holmes and Corey Fuller are coming to Tallahassee to host the Second Annual Benefit Weekend.

The event, sponsored by Coca-Cola, Hpnotiq and Cone Distributing Inc., will begin Wednesday and end Saturday.

Holmes, a linebacker for the Detroit Lions and FAMU alumnus, and Fuller, a defensive back with the Baltimore Ravens and a graduate of Florida State University, created the event as a way to give back to the community.

Together, Holmes and Fuller raised over $20,000 in 2003 with their inaugural Benefit Week effort.

Holmes’ half of the proceeds went to support his foundation, Holmes for Families, which helps single mothers and families in need with assistance in paying rent or mortgage payments in the Tallahassee area.

Holmes was raised in a single-parent home and said he knows what it means to find people willing to help.

“My mother was a single parent and I can relate to some of the hardships of growing up not having as much as everyone else,” he said.

Fuller, a 1990 graduate of Rickards High School, donated his portion to the school’s athletic department.

This year, Holmes and Fuller are teaming up again with aspirations to raise more money than last year.

“Our first year was a success. Tallahassee came out to support our week and helped us raise $20, 000, which went directly back into the community. Our goal is to capture that same success again and build on the foundation that we started last year,” Fuller said.

On Friday, the pair will visit the Children’s Wing at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, accompanied by some of their friends from the NFL.

“We’re lucky to have so much support from out friends in the league,” Holmes said.

“All of these guys give back in their communities. I’m thrilled they can come to Tallahassee to help us do the same thing.”

Then on Friday night, there will be a celebrity basketball game in Gaither Gymnasium at 7 p.m. between some of the NFL’s finest, including Dante Culpepper of the Minnesota Vikings, Warren Sapp of the Oakland Raiders and a host of others who will test their skills on the court.

“I will be participating in the game,” Holmes said. “There are going to be more NFL players than we had last year. It’s going to be a real show.”

Saturday will be Pardi Gras at the North Florida Fairgrounds. The event will begin a 1 p.m., and feature performances by rappers Pastor Troy, Trick Daddy, Jackie-O, Dirty.

Holmes said he hopes the people will come out and show their support.

“We want people from Tallahassee, Quincy, Havana, Gretna and all surrounding counties to celebrate with us. It’s going to be a great time for the kids, the students and adults to come out and meet with some of their favorite NFL players.”

contact tiffany pitts at pittstiffany @hotmail.com.