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Former Dolphins player takes kids on mall shopping spree

More than 2 dozen children received $325 each

The Vernon Carey Foundation took 30 South Florida children shopping at Westfield Broward in Plantation.
The Vernon Carey Foundation took 30 South Florida children shopping at Westfield Broward in Plantation. (Courtesy of Vernon Carey Foundation)

PLANTATION, Fla. – It's a very happy holidays for 30 South Florida children. This week, former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Vernon Carey and his wife, LaTavia Carey, treated all of them to a mall shopping spree at Westfield Broward.

It's the sixth year the Careys have hosted the event through their nonprofit, the Vernon Carey Foundation. The kids were selected from organizations in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, including Fort Lauderdale Parks and Recreation Department, Curley's House Food Bank, Neighbors 4 Neighbors Adopt-A-Family, Broward County Public Schools, Miami Beach Police Athletic League and the Heart Gallery of Broward. Each child was paired with a celebrity shopper.

Joining the children in shopping were retired NFL players Bryant McKinnie, Adewale Ogunleye, Arturo Freeman and Nate Garner. The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, Miami Heat dancers, Florida Panthers ROAR Corps, Hooters calendar girls, actor Greg Cipes, who's the voice of Beast Boy in "Teen Titans Go" and local businesses, including Royal Pig Pub, were also on-hand to help the kids shop for their favorite things.

Each child received $300 in gift cards to shop and spend anywhere in the mall. Westfield Broward kicked in an additional $25 gift card per child.

The Vernon Carey Foundation creates programs and provides support to encourage the improvement of our youth. These programs are designed to enhance educational and recreational development and economic opportunities within the community.


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