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All-pro atmosphere

There was an All-Pro feel at Alltel Stadium last Saturday and it had little to with what happens on the field but rather what takes place off the field. First Guaranty Bank brought The All-Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience to Jacksonville for the first time.

All-Pro Dad's, which has held the event with seven other NFL Teams, brings Dads and kids together for some fun and learning. While fathers were treated to the parenting knowledge of Jaguars' Donovin Darius, Kyle Brady and acclaimed speaker Mark Merrill, children had the chance to participate in eight football stations on the practice fields.

"Being an NFL tight end for 12 seasons is hard work, but not nearly as hard as being a great father every day," Brady said. "All-Pro Dad helps me stay focused on being a dedicated father over the long haul."

Jaguars Chris Hanson, Joe Zelenka and strength and conditioning coaches Mark Asanovich and Les Ebert teamed with members of the Bolles High School football team to help run the stations. Jaxson De Ville was also on hand to pose for pictures with the children.

The event gave fathers the opportunity to learn the "10 Ways to be an All Pro Dad", which highlights practical tips on helping men face their toughest job. Each Dad wrote a letter to their child letting them know why they are proud of them.

The experience was helpful to all and even surprised a few parents who thought they were just bringing their child for an NFL experience. One father said, "You know, I thought I was just bringing my kids down here to see some pro ballplayers, but in all honesty, I needed this so much more than I realized."

All-Pro Dad features 41 NFL players, coaches and alumni who act as spokesman for the program, including head coaches Tony Dungy (Indianapolis) and Joe Gibbs (Washington) as well as NFL Hall of Famer's Steve Largent and Anthony Munoz.

Others who made the event possible include Comcast, The Duval Family of Dealers, Winn-Dixie and the North Florida Frozen & Refrigerated Food Association.

The event at Alltell Stadium was at max capacity with more than 1300 Dads and kids in attendance, and a waiting list has already been established for the 2007 All-Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience. To learn more logo on to

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