Melvin’s Mission charges into Hamlet

NFL linebacker visits hometown for food, fun

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Tiffany Porter, of Wilmington, and Sydnee, 4, take a ride down the inflatable slide on Saturday at Hamlet Memorial Park. The two are cousins of Melvin Ingram, who funded the day's festivities.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Tiffany Porter, of Wilmington, and Sydnee, 4, take a ride down the inflatable slide on Saturday at Hamlet Memorial Park. The two are cousins of Melvin Ingram, who funded the day’s festivities.

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

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HAMLET — Hamlet Memorial Park on Saturday was the place for a community party on Saturday as San Diego Chargers linebacker and Hamlet native Melvin Ingram wanted to give back to his hometown.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com The climbing wall isn't the easiest task for this young man, but it's a task he's willing to tackle.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
The climbing wall isn’t the easiest task for this young man, but it’s a task he’s willing to tackle.

The former Richmond Raider wasn’t scheduled to arrive until after lunch, but the party started at 11 a.m. and the visiting children quickly took advantage of everything at the park, transformed by multiple bounce houses, including one slide, a basketball arena and a gladiator jousting forum. The rides and carnival games were provided by O’Brien Productions from Kennesaw, Ga.

Monique Ingram, Melvin’s older sister, said her brother and the family wanted to give back to Hamlet.

“We wanted to do something different,” Ingram said.

She said she hopes that by returning to Richmond County, local children — and anyone who aspires to be more than they are today — get the idea that with hard work, success can be achieved.

“There is more” to life, Ingram said. “Do what you need to do” and make it happen.

Melvin Ingram, 25, was drafted in April 2012 by the Chargers in the first round (18th overall selection) of the NFL Draft after posting the fourth-most sacks in school history while at the University of South Carolina. After his 2012 rookie year, Ingram suffered in May 2013 a torn ACL in his left knee.

Sometimes, that “more” is accomplished by pushing the boundaries — a concept quickly realized by some of the children present. At one particular ride — in which the rider is belted into a seated position and spun in every a sphere in every direction possible — one young man said he didn’t want a second turn. There was a bit of a fear factor involved. Then he saw his friends ride.

“I’m not scared,” the boy told his mother, “as long as you don’t spin it fast.”

Baby steps.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

 

 

 

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