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Florida Atlantic hosts youth football camp to benefit Parkland shooting victims

As the South Florida community continues to recover from last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida Atlantic University football coach Lane Kiffin is lending his hand to help.

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Kiffin, the second-year Owls coach who led FAU to an 11-3 record last season, announced Friday night that the team’s April 7 practice at Fort Lauderdale’s Carter Park will also serve as a benefit for Stoneman Douglas. FAU will also hold a youth camp from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

All proceeds from the practice, which will also feature a $5 raffle for a three-night stay at the Boca Resort and $20 for the youth camp, will go to the Stoneman Douglas victims and their families.

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Gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and faculty in a Feb. 14 mass shooting before being arrested later that day. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Cruz, 21, who is being held at the Broward County Jail. Cruz’s younger brother, Zachary, was arrested last week for trespassing at Stoneman Douglas.

Students returned to class on Feb. 28 and are currently on spring break. Several Stoneman Douglas football players attended Thursday’s practice at FAU on unofficial visits, but did not speak to media because of NCAA regulations.

Stoneman Douglas currently has several former student-athletes on FAU teams, with senior baseball pitcher Jake Miednik graduating from the school in 2014. Miednik’s younger sister was in class during the shooting but escaped unharmed. Former Eagles offensive lineman Nick Weber was added to the football team as a walk-on last August.

Miednik threw six shutout innings against George Washington in a 3-0 win on Feb. 16, just two days after the shooting and hours after attending the funeral of a family friend who was killed in the massacre.

“I’d like to say that everyone during that incident, everyone’s in my heart and prayers,” Miednik said that night. “It’s unfortunate what happened and I’m praying for everybody, praying for all the victims, and I just want to say ‘God bless to everyone.’ ”

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