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Cardinals Play Neighborhood Heroes

Posted Oct 26, 2012

Team joins Wal-Mart to refurbish Avondale park

Cardinals players Senio Kelemete (64), Dave Zastudil (9), Ricky Lumpkin (95), Jamell Fleming (23) and Stephen Baker (78) take part in refurbishing a park in Avondale.

The Cardinals – including players, Big Red and cheerleaders -- helped Wal-Mart and the City of Avondale Parks and Recreation celebrate the refurbishing of a neighborhood park on Tuesday.

Punter Dave Zastudil, cornerback Jamell Fleming, defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin, guard Senio Kelemete and tackle Steven Baker hosted the inaugural “Neighborhood Heroes” event at Mountain View Park in Avondale.

The refurbishing included a new playground, park benches and swings.

“It was a good thing,” Zastudil said. “It looks like it’s a nice little area and community for the kids to play in. It looks like the kids are real thrilled when they introduced that new playground.

“Whenever we see kids smile and happy, you know you did a good deed.”

The players manned three football stations and put the kids through drills for about two-and-a-half hours.

The kids were “just running around doing the drill over and over again, not caring, just jumping up and down,” Lumpkin said. “It was exciting because I haven’t seen that reaction in a while, just the overall excitement of seeing five football players and being able to play and joke with us and take pictures, even parents were like, ‘Wow.’

“It was just an awesome feeling to have. It was great to be around it.”

This is the first year of the “Neighborhood Heroes” program. The Cardinals and Wal-Mart will team together annually to help fund a Valley community program.

The Cardinals enjoy their time giving back to the community.

“It’s great,” Zastudil said. “I think that’s an obligation that’s due to being a player. Everyone does it in different ways, as long as you can give back and help these kids look up to us. There are a lot of kids that I think need some direction and need some role models, so to give back and provide that, I think it’s a great thing especially with guys in our position.”

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