Local youth football bowl raises funds for bus crash victims

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — At least 400 of the city's top little league athletes will take the field Saturday to compete in memory of Kameren Johnson, the 9-year-old killed in a bus crash earlier this month.

All the money from this event will go towards the families of the players involved in that crash, including Johnson's family.

"There's always a silver lining in anything — even in tragedy," said Craig Littles, chief visionary officer of the Shelby County Police Athletic League.

Littles thinks the nightmare of losing Johnson might be the link the city needed to finally come together.

"This common thread though sports will allow us to come together and build the city with youth," Little said.

Johnson was killed in a bus crash on the way back to Memphis from competing with his Orange Mouth Youth Association All-Star football team.

"He loved football," Littles said. "He loved playing sports. He loved the comradery that he had with kids."

Because of these, it was a no-brainer when it came to figuring out how to honor him.

"We thought it would be a great idea to raise some awareness as well as funds," Littles said.

In fact, it seems the Kam Kam All-Star Memorial Game has sparked new life for everyone.

"Liberty Bowl reached out and wanted to do something as well," Littles said. "We are giving 400 tickets to children who are participating in the game."

Christian Brothers high school stepped up and offered their field for the game. Memphis Police department and Shelby County Sheriff's Office stepped in to help, too.

"He was one of those special children that everyone talked about," Littles said. "The kids loved him."

It's all for Kam—their all-star teammate who now will be rooting them on from the sky.

Littles explained he's been trying to get a youth bowl like this off the ground for 25 years, and he hopes it will become an annual thing.

The game starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. There will be a balloon release at halftime in memory of Johnson. Tickets are $5, and the proceeds go to those affected by the bus accident.

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