Kids & Pros Camp a success for local athletes and mentors

By Lara Patangan
Resident Community News

Last month 165 kids from different backgrounds came together for a football camp that teaches children as much about the fundamentals of life as it does the sport. Kids & Pros Camp held at the Shipyards property downtown was started by former Atlanta Falcons players Bobby Butler and Buddy Curry to teach character and skills through athletics.
The camp was free to attendees thanks to a generous group of local sponsors. Among them was Jeff Bogan, a San Marco resident and owner of TriStone Holdings whose son, Jack, has participated in the camp before. “I wanted to be involved because the camp stresses character on and off the field,” said Bogan. “The instructors mirror that, while also teaching proper game techniques.”

Former NFL players and local coaches taught campers more than the skills of the game.  “Our attendees get the best in football instruction, but we believe the life lessons impact them on a much deeper basis,” said Curry. “What we offer goes far beyond the basic fundamentals of the game of football.”

Sara Brackin, an Avondale resident and Director of Kids & Pros for Jacksonville, said the best part of the camp was how it integrated kids from diverse backgrounds teaching them the principles that apply as much to life as football.

“I believe by bringing children from all backgrounds together through youth sports is how we continue to build our community,” Brackin said. “We don’t do these camps to teach kids to be professional football players. We think the camp teaches them how to be successful in life.”

Sponsors included Steve Suddath of The Suddath Companies, Brian Smith of Regency Centers, Darryl Elksnis of Life Safety Designs, Brad Edwards of Jacksonville University, Dan Murphy of Fidelity National Financial, Jeff Bogan of TriStone Holdings, and Alan Verlander with the City of Jacksonville. In-kind contributions were made by Bono’s Barbeque, Biscottis and the Brick Restaurant.

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