CHARLOTTE — While the NFL is focused on the scouting combine, one of its greatest stars got to open a project close to his heart on Friday.
Panthers legend Steve Smith cut the ribbon on the Smith Family Behavioral Health Urgent Care, with a number of city leaders in attendance, including Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles.
The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation is the largest single donor to the project, a first-of-its-kind facility in Mecklenburg County that offers round-the-clock mental health care.
The facility is designed for the intervention and treatment of urgent primary behavioral health needs and exists as an alternative to emergency rooms. The facility offers rapid screening, short-term stabilization and referral, crisis counseling, and outpatient services.
"This building represents, for the men and women that will come in here, that when they leave that they're inspired to say and feel that they are good enough," Smith said Friday.
Lyles thanked Smith for continued involvement in the city he's come to know as home and the Teppers for their support of the project.
"People in Charlotte understand how important the sports community is to us," Lyles said. "Just thinking about what Dave and Nicole have done in expanding the Foundation for their charities and making it possible for them to participate in this community, they're a real asset. As Charlotte continues to grow, I hope that other people that come into our city for commerce will also recognize that they have a civic responsibility; Dave and Nicole Tepper have done that."