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Mark Wahlberg donates $10,000 to Malden teen center

Posted by Jarret Bencks  December 28, 2012 11:17 AM

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Mark Wahlberg has pledged $10,000 to the Malden Teen Enrichment Center through his charitable foundation, according to Scott Saia, a security coordinator for the Wahlberg's and Malden native.

Saia organized Home for the Holidays, a street hockey tournament fundraiser for the teen center held on Dec. 23. The tournament was a success -- raising about $7,000 for the center on its own. The next day Saia was notified that the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation would chip in another $10,000.

Saia, who has worked in various security capacities for Wahlberg and his brothers, Donnie and Jimmy, said he had told mentioned the tournament to the brothers, but didn't expect them to get involved.

"It floored me when I got that phone call," Saia said Friday. "Not that it surprised me, knowing the Wahlbergs, but it wasn't something I expected. It was the best Christmas present I could get."

The teen center, located at 1 Salem St., opened Dec. 12. It offers leadership and educational programs for teens, as well as gym access. The center is set to receive about $125,000 in funding from the city in 2013, but also relies on donations to operate.

"That money's going to allow for a lot of great programs for these kids," Saia said.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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