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Panthers' defensive back takes YMCA ministry to Africa

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CHARLOTTE (AP) -- For years, Mike Minter of the Carolina Panthers has donated money and time to the YMCA of Greater Charlotte.

Now, Minter is taking his YMCA ministry to Africa.

In two weeks, Minter will help lead a Charlotte-based group on a visit to a pair of YMCA branches in West Africa to provide funds and help new programs for needy children. He says he's really excited about trying to help make a difference in people's lives.

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte launched an effort three years ago through its YWorld program to support Y branches in Senegal and Gambia. Those two nations were centers of the slave trade two centuries ago. Now, they're battling problems caused by poverty and disease, including HIV/AIDS.

Minter is donating $90,000. A YMCA official says that donation will help Y-sponsored programs, such as building water treatment plants, operating a youth hostel and conducting illness-prevention classes.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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