Tucker adds special kick to Nanticoke health fair/business expo

tucker rosalee peterson

Baltimore Ravens’ placekicker Justin Tucker autographs the”onesie” jersey of 5-month-old Ravens’ fan Rosalee Peterson, held by her mom Alicia Peterson.

 LAUREL – Nanticoke Health Services’ community health fair/business expo Saturday brought scores of people to Laurel High School for a dose of good health.

tucker zackary moran jersey

Justin Tucker signs the back of Zackary Moran’s Ravens’ jersey as Zachary’s sister Jorja waits her turn for an autograph.

Justin Tucker brought smiles to the faces of many Baltimore Ravens’ football fans.

Deep purple haze – Raven-style – abounded at Laurel High School Saturday for Nanticoke’s fourth annual health fair/business expo.

The four-hour event played to a community health theme, featuring health education, health professionals, free screenings, healthy living demonstrations and family-oriented activities.

Interactive displays focused on heart risk factors, body mass index, stroke awareness, healthy eating, diabetes, cancer, and others. Vendors were non-profit organizations and private businesses which provide services related to healthy living.

“We had more than 80 vendors,” said Sharon Harrington, Nanticoke’s director of marketing & business development “It was as a mixture of health screenings, local businesses and other organizations and health services.”

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Tammy Donohoe of Nanticoke Health Services checks Angela Bivens’ blood pressure – one of the free health screenings offered Saturday at Nanticoke’s health fair/business expo.

This year’s celebrity draw was Justin Tucker, one of the most accurate placekickers in NFL history. Mr. Tucker was recently tagged by the Ravens as the team’s franchise player.

The 26-year-old kicker appeased Ravens fans with autographs and casual conversation. Hats, jerseys, footballs; you name it, he signed it.

Undoubtedly the youngest autograph hound was Rosalee Peterson, the five-month-old daughter of Alicia Peterson.

“Today I got asked to sign a baby,” said Mr. Tucker. “I got asked to sign Little Miss Rosalee. So I signed her onesie right on her belly. Mom and dad seemed pretty happy about it.”

tucker chip with hat camera

Armed and ready for a “selfie,” Chip Guy gets a hat autographed by Baltimore Ravens’ placekicker Justin Tucker. At right is Mr. Guy’s wife Angela.

“Every once in a while people ask me to sign their kids and I think it is pretty funny. I feel like Ricky Bobby!” said Mr. Tucker. “In between all of the bobble-heads, footballs, pictures and hats, there is always at least one per signing that is definitely interesting or funny.”

Parenthood will soon be part of Mr. Tucker’s family huddle; he and wife Amanda are expecting their first child in May.

Ms. Peterson is a devoted Ravens’ fan. Her favorite player is, of course, Justin Tucker.

“I just like the way the Ravens play and it is very local so it’s easy to get to,” said Ms. Peterson. “It is Justin Tucker since he has come to the team. I am originally from Texas so yes I have followed him from there.”

Special accommodations through Nanticoke Health Services enabled Mr. Tucker to meet 17-year-old Jarrett Butler, a physically/mentally challenged youth from Magnolia. Jarrett, whose favorite Raven is quarterback Joe Flacco, and family members journeyed from Kent County to meet Baltimore’s star kicker.

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Sporting a Raven purple mohawk, Devon Mullen is all smiles after getting a football signed by Ravens’ kicker Justin Tucker.

“Jarrett is a Ravens’ fan. He has been that way since he was about 10 years old,” said Ms. Butler. “I saw it (health fair advertisement) on the news. So I called in and I asked if it was going to be handicap accessible. I didn’t know if they would have him (Tucker) up on a stage, or what. And they were like, ‘Oh, we can try to make a private meet and greet, and get us together so he could actually talk to him. So that was really nice.”

“It definitely means a lot to me to be able to put a smile on someone’s face,” said Mr. Tucker. “It is a really cool deal that they traveled as far as they did just to come and hang out for the day. It definitely means a lot.”

In addition to the thrilling kicks from Tucker autographs, the health fair featured a “screen” play of sorts.

Tucker jessica zoch [perry rachel ostroski with tucker

Jessica Zoch Perry, left, and Rachel Ostroski of Nanticoke Health Services meet Ravens’ kicker Justin Tucker at Saturday’s health fair and business expo.

As a health-conscious incentive, attendees who amassed seven stamps for screenings qualified for the random drawing for a framed jersey autographed by Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco.

Stamps from seven vendors earned a chance for a jersey signed by Redskins’ QB Kirk Cousins.

After about 90 minutes with a permanent maker in hand Mr. Tucker’s autograph commitment concluded – a few signings shy of writer’s cramp.

“I am getting there,” he said. “But it is all well worth it.”

tucker shakes hands with jarrett butler

Baltimore Ravens’ placekicker Justin Tucker shares smiles and shakes hands with 17-year-old Jarrett Butler, a loyal Raven fan from Magnolia. At right is Jarrett’s mom, Janet Butler.

 

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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