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Countdown To Kickoff draws championship team

David Greene and Jon Stinchcomb led Georgia to the SEC Championship in 2002.

The Gwinnett County grads will reunite with their former teammates on July 13 in Athens.

Greene, a South Gwinnett grad, and Parkview grads Jon and Matt Stinchcomb will host the eighth annual Countdown To Kickoff, which benefits Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Transplant Foundation.

"We feel like each year the goal is to make it a little better for the fans, who are spending their time and resources," Matt Stinchcomb said.

The event, which has raised more than $1 million dollars, reunited the 1968 national championship team two years ago. This year they've brought the 2002 SEC championship team that finished the season ranked No. 3 in the nation.

"A vast majority of those guys have said they will be there," Matt Stinchcomb said.

Countdown To Kickoff is a three-day event. It begins with the celebrity Dawgleg Golf Classic, which is already sold out, on July 12.

The fan festival at the UGA practice fields will feature the 2002 SEC championship team along with other former UGA players and members of this year's team. Past attendees have included former head coach Vince Dooley, Garrison Hearst, D.J. Shockley, Buck Belue and Rennie Curran to name a few.

This year's fan festival was moved to earlier in the day and will start at noon. Tickets are $25 and a family four-pack can be purchased for $75. The festival includes free food and drinks, games and activities and of course player autographs.

"It's a lot of fun," Matt Stinchcomb said. "It's about the best fan experience you can have."

Countdown To Kickoff concludes on Aug. 23 with the Dawgs for Kids auction party at Capital City Club in Atlanta.

All three events are geared toward raising money for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Transplant Foundation.

"Ultimately, the common theme is children that need it," Matt Stinchcomb said.

Countdown To Kickoff is one of about five charity events Matt Stinchcomb is involved with throughout the year. This event, which benefits people on a transplant waiting list, is dear to his heart. His father, Gary, has been on the wait list for more than a year for a heart.

"It benefits Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and their second chance program," Matt Stinchcomb said. "It goes nicely with our passion and support for the transplant community."

FOOTBALL

What: Countdown to kickoff

When: July 12-13, August 23

Where: Athens and Atlanta

Schedule:

• July 12: Celebrity Dawgleg Golf Classic in Athens

• July 13: Fan festival at UGA practice fields

• August 23: Dawgs for Kids party at Capital City Club in Atlanta

More info: www.ugakickoff.com