MODESTO, CA - San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick may be one of the most famous and successful NFL players these days, but he isn't forgetting an organization from Salida that helps kids with heart defects.
Kaepernick helped stage a fundraising golf event Monday at Del Rio Country Club in ,orth Modesto. It was anticipated that the tournament and dinner could bring in up $200,000 to help the organization called Camp Taylor.
Why was Kaerpernick there?
"I think it says my parents did a good job. They raised me to be this way. Treat people with respect and give back when you can," said Kaepernick in a quick question and answer session.
Kaepernick's parents also suffered the heartbreak of losing two young children to heart disease. That's why the 49er quarterback made Camp Taylor a priority once he began earning real money in the NFL.
"It's such an honor to have him here. He's just so supportive of everything. I'm thankful," said 14-year-old Lainey Moon of Rescue. She has an artificial heart valve and has been going to Camp Taylor for five years.
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Kimberly Gamino is the mother of Taylor, who was born with half a heart. Though he's 19 now and doing well, his mom hopes to build a permanent camp facility. She said the camp gives kids with heart issues a sense of belonging.
"They see they're not alone. That's the best gift: to understand you're not fighting this disease alone," said Gamino.
Kaepernick will soon be back with the 49ers, trying to get his team to the Super Bowl win that eluded the team last year. But Monday, there was no football talk.
"No, we're focusing on the kids today," he said.