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Charles Johnson hosts sixth annual community weekend in Hawkinsville

Carolina Panthers' defensive end Charles Johnson poses for pictures at his sixth annual community weekend in Hawkinsville. (Luke Hetrick, WGXA)

HAWKINSVILLE, Ga. -- Carolina Panthers defensive end and Hawkinsville native Charles Johnson returns home this weekend to host his sixth annual sports academy and community weekend at Hawkinsville High School.

"It's always a blessing any time I come home," said Johnson. "I always think of it as a blessing. Just to see this community keep growing and keep supporting me throughout these years. This is the biggest year we've ever had yet."

The event is free to all kids from first grade to high school seniors. Of course, Johnson brought along plenty of former and current NFL players to take part in the weekend's festivities. Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick are just a couple of big names that are in attendance this weekend.

"Each one of these different players that came down here has a different message, a different background, and from different places," said Johnson. "Take advice from these guys because they've seen it all, done it all and you know you got to live it up."

All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman has a great message to share with the almost 1,700 kids this weekend.

"Hard work, dedication and focus on what it is that you do." said Norman. "You got to listen to your parents. Obviously that's number one. Every time you get a chance man, help another kid out because they need that help just as much as you do."

The community weekend continues through Saturday afternoon.

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