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Athletes from college to pro offer help in Newtown

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Photo -   FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 file photo, retired soccer player Alexi Lalas, rear center, watches children play during a visit by MLS and United States national team players to the Newtown Youth Academy in Newtown, Conn. The event, which was set up by Houston Dynamo general manager and Connecticut native Chris Canetti, featured about 40 current and former soccer players interacting with and signing autographs for about 1,000 children in a community that was devastated by the deadly shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File)
FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 file photo, retired soccer player Alexi Lalas, rear center, watches children play during a visit by MLS and United States national team players to the Newtown Youth Academy in Newtown, Conn. The event, which was set up by Houston Dynamo general manager and Connecticut native Chris Canetti, featured about 40 current and former soccer players interacting with and signing autographs for about 1,000 children in a community that was devastated by the deadly shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File)
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NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Newtown school children have been treated to a New York Giants football game, basketball and soccer clinics, and a visit from Olympic gold medalists in the weeks since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school.

Town officials and parents say the sports world has played an important role in helping the town heal after the tragedy.

Dr. Marian Moca, a child psychiatrist at the UConn Health Center, said what the athletes are doing creates a sense of caring, community support and safety the kids need at this time.

Gymnast Aly Raisman says she was just thrilled she could bring a few smiles to the faces of children who had been affected by the shooting.

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