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Fundraising effort pushes at-risk youth to stay safe

Jeffrey Warrick, Buffalo's self-proclaimed Push-Up King, will be pushing for funds Friday to help the city's efforts at keeping at-risk youth out of jail and, in the words of Youth Prison Prevention Project president Robert A. Harris Sr., "out of the coffin as well."

Warrick broke the world record for push-ups in June 1998 by doing 46,200 push-ups in the lobby of Buffalo City Hall over 24 hours.

He will be at it again from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday at the Edward Saunders Community Center at 2777 Bailey Ave.

Warrick, who is familiar with local jail cells himself, said he will be "striving to break 50 new world records as I turn 50 years old this year."

"We are asking all our neighborhoods for at least one year of peace, and we are working to keep our youth out of prison and out of the coffin as well," Harris said of Warrick's fundraising effort.

Planning more such events with Warrick, Harris said his organization is encouraging attendees Friday to wear the "RIP" T-shirts that have sprung up in the city in recent years memorializing loved ones killed on the city's streets.

Harris said Warrick's public push-up efforts are part of the martial arts expert's latest mission "to help bring awareness to a program like ours that he believes will help many at-risk youth."

When Warrick was sentenced to jail in 2001 for assaulting a female Buffalo police officer, he thanked the judge for convicting him at a nonjury trial.

After he was released from jail, he pledged to work to keep other African-American men "out of emergency rooms and the courtroom."

During the sentencing, the judge cited Warrick's then-nearly two decades of work as a fundraiser for local charities, his efforts to be a positive role model for area youth and the many foster children he and his family have raised.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com