Southern California Falcons / Photo Credit: Southern California Falcons

Southern California Falcons / Photo Credit: Southern California Falcons

What if an NFL player subbed at one of your son’s little league
football practices?

And what if that NFL player happened to be Tony Gonzales?

How cool would that be?

Former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez surprised several Southern
California Falcons during one of their football drills this past fall
giving them a pep talk and a $10,000 donation from NFL Play 60.

Parents face tough decisions when it comes time to budgeting for
afterschool programs. In the Pop Warner Little League, a typical
registration fee for participants can range from $75 to $200. Depending
on the program, additional fees may be required for equipment.

During a taping on the Rachel Ray Show, SoCal President Keith Johnson
stated that part of the money donated by NFL Play 60 would be used
to fulfill delinquent registration fees left by parents who were struggling
to make payments. “This is one stress they don’t have to worry about,”
Johnson said.

Keith and Karen Johnson formed the SoCal Falcons in the spring of 2005.
The goal was to use sports as a vehicle to introduce and reinforce the
concept of strong character, positive values, personal responsibility, social
responsibility, and academic excellence.

In 2007, Johnson began the process of building an agency to help build
community value and character among youth. The strategy was to build on
the relationship that coaches establish with their players. “Our passion fuels
our purpose, our purpose fuels our priorities, and our priorities help us press
on and persevere,” said Johnson on the Rachel Ray Show.

As for Gonzalez, he said that spending time with children like the SoCal
Falcons puts a joy in his heart and lets him know that it was all worth it. In
addition, he and his wife October both give back to the community.

Gonzalez grew up attending the Boys and Girls Club and has given children
tickets to NFL games. The former tight end has also been involved with the
Shadow Buddies Foundation, which works with sick children in a number of
hospitals including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

In response to their volunteer work with the SoCal Falcons, Karen Johnson
said “The most rewarding part is to see a smile on a kids’ face. [We’re]
doing something in their life that makes them happy. Because the best thing
in life is to see a happy child.”

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