HAMLET — Another large crowd is expected to flood Hamlet Memorial Park next Saturday, June 9, in anticipation for Melvin Ingram’s fifth annual Family Fun Day.
The event, sponsored by Ingram’s Mission Possible Foundation, will go from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and is free for everyone. There will be food, outdoor games, prizes, face painting, a gamer truck and more.
DJ Base and the Foxy 99 truck will be providing the music throughout the day.
“I want to make sure everyone knows that everything is free. Sometimes people won’t show up because they think there’s a fee,” Ingram’s older sister, Monique, said. “It’s a nice day for everybody in the community to get together and have fun with nothing to worry about, and it’s a great way for Melvin to give back.”
During the first three years of the Fun Day celebration, a basketball game was held after the activities wrapped up around noon. Last year, however, due to the number of people who expressed that they would rather stay outside in 2016, Ingram and his team scratched the basketball game in order to give the community an extra hour outdoors.
Now it gives Melvin more time with his supporters before he takes pictures and signs autographs.
“I hope it impacts the young guys coming up,” Monique added. “A lot of people don’t get to see a (professional) football player in this town, so I love that he likes to come back and interact with the people of the community.”
Ingram, who was born and raised in Hamlet, is a defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers. He was a standout football player at Richmond Senior High School before moving on to the University of South Carolina, where he received First-Team All-SEC and consensus All-American honors as a senior in 2011.
The Richmond County native was selected to his first NFL Pro Bowl this past season after racking up 56 tackles and tying his career-high in sacks (10.5) in his fifth year with the Chargers. He was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month in September and scored his first career touchdown on a 37-yard fumble return against the Buffalo Bills in November.
Ingram signed a four-year, $66 million contract — with $42 million guaranteed — to stay in Los Angeles last June.
“I look forward to doing this every year,” Melvin Ingram said in 2016. “Being able to give back to the community that I grew up in is such an accomplishment for me. I love making a positive impact in the community by sharing all sorts of creative ways to help families of the community and create a day of fun for each other.”
Hamlet Memorial Park is located on 716 Spring Street.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.