Dream Foundation expands for James Butler youth camp

Published 5:40 pm Friday, July 6, 2012

James Butler’s fifth annual Dream Foundation Weekend will be Friday, July 13, and Saturday, July 14.

The former Bainbridge High School Bearcat and New York Giants Super Bowl champion will be joined this year by three other former Bearcats and current NFL players — Darryl Gamble of the San Diego Chargers, Malcolm Sheppard of the Tennesssee Titans and Ray Dominguez of the Green Bay Packers.

Gamble, Sheppard and Dominguez have been named to the Dream Foundation’s board of directors. Along with Butler, they have decided to unite under the Dream Foundation to try to impact local area youths and people in the community in a positive way.

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The highlight of the weekend will be Saturday’s fifth annual free youth football camp for 9-to-18-year-olds, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Centennial Field.

Applications for the free youth football camp can be accessed from The Post-Searchlight’s website at www.thepostsearchlight.com. They should be sent to Bainbridge strength and conditioning coach Kelvin Cochran at kelvincochran@hotmail.com.

The first 150 applications will be accepted. For more information, call (229) 416-5120.

The Foundation was established by Butler, who was a starting safety for the New York Giants when they defeated the previously-undefeated New England Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII in 2008. Butler, who is currently an unsigned free agent, has also played for the St. Louis Rams in his career.
The weekend will kick off Friday night at the Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA’s Langston Gray Bowling Center. It will feature “bowl with a pro” night from 8 p.m. until midnight.

Cochran coordinated the implementation of the four former Bearcats and NFL players into the Dream Foundation. The Dream Foundation’s first joint project was coming together during the last Christmas season and sponsoring Wal-Mart gift cards for local kids at each elementary school.

Cochran said he proposed the union because — while not wanting to diminish all the positive things Butler has started and done over the years — he wanted to help the other three players expand their roles.

Butler termed it a blessing and privilege to have Gamble, Sheppard and Dominguez coming to work with him in the free youth football camp.

“We all want to have a greater impact on the community that gave us so much,” Butler said. “Our common goal is to be positive examples for the athletes who come after us.”

Gamble said he appreciates the opportunity to join a great group of guys who he grew up with and who share the same passion to give back to the community.

Sheppard said that, being from Bainbridge, he knows what the camp means to local young people.

“Growing up, I knew what it meant to me to see people from our hometown succeed,” he said.

Dominguez said Butler has made a name for the Foundation on his own and given the four NFL players an opportunity to take it even higher by continuing to support the youth of the community.

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