May 8—NORWALK — Tyler Perkins is a man of few words.
Instead, he lets his foot do his talking.
Perkins, a junior at St. Paul High School, is a nationally-ranked punter on the football team and also is the team's kicker.
This spring, Perkins, who also is a member of the school's baseball team, decided to take advantage of his punting skills. He got businesses to sponsor a kicking session he had, pledging $10 for every yard he averaged. His final average was 45.5 yards on the 10 kicks, which earned him $3,067.50.
On Thursday Tyler and his father, Pete, presented a check to Cindy Liben, executive director of the Norwalk Area Food Bank.
"He just wants to make a difference on the field and in the community," his proud father said. "He did good with this fundraiser and shows he can contribute no matter where he is at.
"He and his mother (Jennifer) will stock the blessing box from time to time trying to help with a problem most people overlook every day — hunger. This time Tyler wanted to do something bigger. Times are tough right now for everyone and Tyler knows, just like on the football field, that there is strength in numbers."
"We can accomplish more when we work together," Tyler said. "I would not be in the position I am in without the help of my coaches and teammates. Everyone can use help from time to time. I wish the unity we have on the football and baseball field would translate in real life, that is 'everyone having each other's backs and helping others when in need.'
"We could be such a stronger community if we only took the time to help those less fortunate. I will continue to work hard and I hope I will be blessed enough to play at the next level (college), and if I am, no matter where that may be, I plan on making a difference on the field and in the community."
A video of the fundraiser can be viewed on Tyler's Twitter page https://twitter.com/Tylerperkins80.
"This means a lot," Liben said. "This is great. It goes a long way. For us, the way we shop allows people to pick what they want like a small grocery store. I get to shop for things they want."
Working at the food bank is "a blessing every day" because of days like this, Liben said.
"I love my job."
St. Paul High School football coach and athletic director John Livengood is proud of what Perkins is doing.
"He's a great kid and he works hard," Livengood said. "He kind of exemplifies what we teach here. This is a great service project for our community."
St. Paul seniors are required to do a service project, but Perkins couldn't wait to get started.
"That's a win, that's for sure," his coach said. "I know in his family that is something that is a big thing, too. The great thing about it is he was able to do it doing something he likes doing."