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VFL, Knoxville native Todd Kelly Jr. hosts first annual 'Camp 24' to honor Zaevion Dobson's memory

The former Vol football player held the event to benefit the Zaevion Dobson Memorial Foundation and the Emerald Youth Foundation.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Former Tennessee football player and Knoxville native Todd Kelly Jr. held the first annual Camp 24 on Saturday for children ages 7-14.

The event offered kids the chance to learn skills and compete against each other, but it was also about honoring the legacy of Zaevion Dobson. Proceeds from the event were donated to support the Zaevion Dobson Memorial Foundation and the Emerald Youth Foundation.

"Bringing charity, the community and football all together into one is what I've loved for so long," Todd Kelly Jr. said. "To bring those three together and to create this camp in memory and honor of Zaevion Dobson is what I wanted to do and it's what we're doing right now."

Kelly first honored Dobson's legacy during his playing days at Tennessee. Kelly originally wore number 6 on the field but changed his number to 24, which Dobson wore on the Fulton High School football team.

"I realized that football is more than a game. You can represent people other than yourself," Kelly said. "Carrying that with me, that 24, it meant more to me than just a number."

Kelly said he had the idea to start this camp for a little while, and when he wanted to get it off the ground, he had no problem finding support from sponsors and other organizers.

"They realized Zaevion Dobson's story, and on December 17, 2015, him saving those girls. It didn't end on that back porch," Kelly said. "It continues today, and his name and legacy continues on here in the city of Knoxville, the state of Tennessee and around the country."

He said he has "no doubt" that Camp 24 will be held again next year.

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