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News Story
Updated: 11/02/2013 08:00:01AM

Standing with the stars

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PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


Leeronnie Ogletree, center, is flanked by his mother, Oreatha K. Ogletree, to the right and his children, (l to r): Kadeshia Ogletree, Leeronnie Jr. Ogletree, Leeroy Ogletree. Leeronnie, of Polk County, received the "Hero Among Us" award at the National Consortium for Academics and Sports University of Central Florida 2013 Giant Steps Awards Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held Tuesday night at the Orlando World Marriott. Leeronnie authored a book, Major League Addiction, which chronicled the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of former Red Sox clubhouse manager Donald Fitzpatrick.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


Leeronnie Ogletree poses for a photo with the man who recommended him for the "Hero Among Us" award and the founder of the NCAS, Richard E. Lapchick.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


Leeronnie Ogletree, as he shares his vision for the future with those in attendance at the Giant Steps award ceremony and banquet. "I am the face for major league baseball, the NBA, the NFL and all other foundations when it comes to sexual abuse," he noted, adding that he sought to partner with other organizations in that fight to eradicate child sex abuse.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


Leeronnie Ogletree converses with Lonnie Ali, wife of Muhammad Ali, before the award ceremony begins. Ali was inducted into the NCAS Hall of Fame. The two were discussing the best route for Ogletree to take to further his steps to raise awareness to fight child sex abuse.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


The parents of Christina-Taylor Green received the President's Award on behalf of their daughter, who was killed during the shooting which occurred at the constituent event for representative Gabrielle Giffords. Thirteen people were wounded and six lost their lives in the attack, including Christina.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


Ogletree visits with Master of Ceremonies Bob Ley, who has worked for ESPN as a commentator and is known for his series, "Outside the Lines."

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


Leeronnie Ogletree and Lonnie Ali stop for a quick photo before the festivities get underway. Lonnie, the wife of Mohammad Ali, was inducted into the NCAS Hall of Fame.

By KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ

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He was a long way from the baseball clubhouse that changed his life, but decided to use that experience to help others, and Tuesday night, Leeronnie Ogletree, of Winter Haven, was surrounded by the stars who heard his story and recognized his efforts.

Ogletree was presented the “Hero Among Us” award at a special banquet put on by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports, University of Central Florida, for his work in telling the story of the sexual abuse he says he suffered as a child at the hands of former Boston Red Sox clubhouse manager Donald Fitzpatrick.

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