Countdown to Kickoff a success

ATHENS – As soon as the gates opened, fans started pouring in the gates for the third annual Countdown to Kickoff.

"This is the first year," former Georgia quarterback David Greene said. "It's been unbelievable. I'm really shocked at how well it's run. It's only the third year it's been up and running. I think every year it is getting a lot bigger and better."

Greene, who became the winningest quarterback in Division I-A history during his tenure with the Bulldogs, joined the event's founders, Matt and Jon Stinchcomb, as host this year. Proceeds from the event, which included more than 50 former and current players, will be split among four charities, Children's Healthcare of Altanta, the Georgia Transplant Foundation, the Children's Tumor Foundation and the UGA College of Education.

Last year's event raised almost $30,000 for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, said Shelton Stevens, the director of the Sports Network at Children's Healthcare.

"It's just a great event," Stevens said. "David and Jon and Matt are the key to the whole thing. They get all these former players to come back in, because who doesn't like those guys?"

The trio coaxed players as varied as Bill Stanfill and Rennie Curran to come out to sign autographs and gab with fans eager for Georgia's 2008 season to kick off. Alums Mitch Davis, Frank Ros, Thomas Brown, Kregg Lumpkin, Martrez Milner all attended.

The event, which included games and activities for children, drew a sellout crowd of 1,500 and lasted from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Bulldogs' practice fields.

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