Texas Tech University

West Texas oilman is unlikely angel for West Baltimore youth center

West Texas oilman is unlikely angel for West Baltimore youth center

Chris Hicks was lying in bed flipping through the television channels one night last December when he came across a program shot in Baltimore.

The program, an episode of the Viceland series "Payday," featured footage of children taking pictures and playing video games at Kids Safe Zone, the after-school haven for students in the violent and impoverished West Baltimore neighborhood of Sandtown-Winchester.

Hicks, a 35-year-old wildcatter from wide-open Mason County, a churchgoing, cowboy boot-wearing, married father of two, was "intrigued and overwhelmed."

He had never been to Baltimore. Didn't know anyone there. But his family had been devastated by...

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