SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Longtime NFL player and former Onondaga Central High School football star, Latavius Murray, is giving back to his community.

Murray hosted a gala on May 6 at the Oncenter that raised over $100,000 in funds for his new recreation and education center in his hometown of Nedrow called the Jon Diaz Community Center. The money goes towards a good cause, bringing a community center to the area.

The non-profit Jon Diaz Community Center is named after his friend Jon Diaz who was shot and killed in 2016 in Syracuse. Murray says that the estimated start date for construction is in 2024 and currently they are in the design phase with VIP Structures.

Murray headlined the inaugural gala event sponsored by Victory Sports Medicine on May 6 to make his plans come to life, fundraising for this new project that will bring back so much to his hometown community.

NFL Quarterback Russell Wilson attended the gala and spoke about the importance of strengthening community connections.

“When it comes to community, you know we all have children, we all have people that we impact or inspire people that mean something to us, especially youth. Youth are our change makers of tomorrow and so I think that this opportunity that Latavius and his family and his whole team has done a great job of the Jon Diaz Community Center,” said Wilson.

Other than Wilson, Free Safety Justin Simmons of the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver Gabe Davis and Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Kenny Gainwell all attended the event as well.

At the event, there were photo opportunities with the NFL players, dancing, a live band, auction items and more.

NewsChannel 9’s anchor Christie Casciano emceed the festivities.