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APOPKA, Fla. - NFL star and Apopka native pays for counseling for Pop Warner players after shooting
After a tragic shooting at a Pop Warner football practice, an NFL star and Apopka native is giving back, hoping to help the kids get through it.
Jalen Carter, who now plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, donated $5,000 to pay for mental health counseling.
Just over a week ago, kids and families had to run for cover after an 11-year-old shot two teammates after practice.
Thursday night, they gathered in the same spot to talk about solutions and moving forward.
Toni Brown, Carter's mother, presented the check on his behalf.
It's the same field Carter grew up playing on.
Apopka's mayor and State Attorney Andrew Bain spoke to the group of families.
Mayor Bryan Nelson focused on stopping bullying, and having training for parents, coaches and kids who use the park.
Bain urged people to use gun locks to keep kids from using them.
Toni Brown said she and her son hope the incident will bring the program together rather than divide them.
"I as a mother was very proud that Jalen got me on the phone, and he immediately wanted to help out the children in this community," Brown said. "He was very, very, very, upset to hear what happened on this field. The same field that he played on, a place where he felt safe, a place he could escape the stresses of the outside world and just be a kid."
Andrew Bain played football at the University of Miami and had a personal story to share.
"Back on November 7, 2006, one of my teammates, Bryan Pata, was gunned down by another one of my teammates about 50 yards, less than that, 20 yards in front of my house right after practice," Bain said. "The only reason I wasn’t there is because I needed ice on my knee."
Toni Brown said they plan to make more donations in the future.