UT football player giving back to Lonsdale community

LaTroy Lewis hosting "Hero Day" on Saturday for his charity Project Elevate

Members of team 120 took a break from the game and gave back to the community.

LaTroy Lewis, senior defensive end for the Tennessee Volunteers, hosted a fundraiser for his charity, Project Elevate. The money is going towards new gym equipment for Lonsdale Elementary School.

“I just hope I am doing enough and as much as I can because my main concern is these kids,” said Lewis.

Hundreds of people came to the event and more than 40 volunteers came to help out.

The day was called “Hero Day” and was meant to honor Zaevion Dobson, a former Fulton High School football player killed in a drive-by shooting while protecting two of his friends.

“Zaevion served as an amazing hero for this community, for this city, for all of us really,” said Lewis.

For many Lonsdale kids at the event, Lewis is their hero. Lewis frequently comes to the school to read to the students.

“He is always out there doing good stuff so I’m thinking why should I not,” said Jyrez Dickey.

Lewis was inspired to start his organization after a visit to Lonsdale. He said it reminded him of the inner-city in Ohio he grew up in. He said he would not be the person he is today, if he did not have the mentors and people along the way to get him to Knoxville.

“If I can get one kid that really takes takes something from it and their life goes from left to right, I feel like every moment, every minute of work for this is worth it,” said Lewis.

Other members of team 120 helped with the work today. Some washed cars for donations while others gave speeches to inspire the kids in the community.

“This serves as a platform for other people to continue to get involved with the lives of our young people,” said Lewis.

Lewis plans to continue his charity after his time at UT. He hopes to plan missions trips to Africa and other countries for the kids.

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