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O.C. Register: Vladimir Radmanovic was 11 years old when the fighting began.

The Lakers forward watched, from afar, as Yugoslavia, his homeland, was torn apart by ethnic differences, fractured by politics and changed by boundaries.

Radmanovic never forgot the images he saw on his television. The bombing. The guns. The blood.

But it was the children’s faces, scared and uncertain, that stuck with Radmanovic. It was those children, left behind by parents who had been called to war, or worse, left behind when their parents died, that touched him as a teen.

“It leaves scars no matter what,” he said. “No matter how old you are or how you live.”

So it’s those faces he remembers when he donates his time and money to his fledgling foundation.

Radmanovic held his second annual “Crossing Oceans for Children” dinner and silent auction Thursday in Santa Monica in an effort to raise funds for displaced children in Los Angeles and Serbia and Montenegro.

Last year, the event raised more than $20,000 – Radmonovic matched the amount – and was used to build greenhouses and a laundromat in Serbia. This year, Radmanovic is hoping to use the $30,000 raised Thursday, along with $30,000 of his own, to help children in Southern California through the Five Aces program.

Continue reading ‘Radmanovic raises money, donates his own to kids’