Local boy gets an emotional Christmas gift

January 2, 2008 6:49:10 PM PST
An East Bay boy turned 11 today, but Devon Owens is hardly celebrating. This will be his first holiday without his mother.

On Thanksgiving weekend, 10-year-old Devon Owens lost his mother when his step father shot her in a murder suicide.

Devon's two-year-old sister received serious head injuries when she was struck by the same bullet that killed their mother. However, Devon says his sister is improving at Children's Hospital in Oakland.

"She's learning how to move her tongue so she can talk again. She's improving with her feet so she can walk again," says Devon.

Devon's grandmother Janice Williams is now caring for him.

"We talked about his mother is not coming back. She's in a better place," says Williams.

Devon says his mother still talks to him from that better place.

"Keep your room clean and listen to your grandmother," says Devon.

On Christmas Eve, Devon turned 11-years-old. He celebrated it with friends and family at Mel's Bowling Alley in Alameda.

Devon plays for the Benicia Panthers youth football team, whose coaches have set up a trust fund for him. A rival team, the San Ramon Valley Thunderbirds, learned about Devon's plight. They decided to raise money for his future. So far, they've gotten $20,000 dollars.

Jeff Rovner, who heads the fundraising, says their goal is much more.

"We stated $250,000 dollars at first and we haven't really embarked on our full fundraising campaign as yet," says Rovner.

Rovner, another parent John Loar, and their children came to Devon's party with a new television set and lots of video games from the T-Birds.

Devon says thank you and then he hugs guys who have been rivals for so long.

"They don't even know me from the start. I feel grateful and happy," says Devon.

It was an emotional moment for Devon. So emotional his grandmother had to comfort him.

"I feel grateful because they didn't have to do that. A lot of teams don't do that," said Devon.

Donationas to the Devon Owens Trust Fund can be made at bank of the West at 1001 First Street, Benecia.

You can also donate via PayPal by clicking here.