MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Some of the best talent in the Palmetto state is getting ready to take part in Saturday's North vs. South All-Star Game. They've been practicing all week - but both teams took a break on Thursday for a greater cause.
Holiday shopping is something you see everyone do this time of year, but those same football standouts aren't out looking for gifts for their families. This is the sixth year in a row that former NFL tackle Brandon Frye has helped organize the North-South shopping spree for needy children of the Myrtle Beach community.
"It's really special because kids see us doing the right thing, and they want to as well, so I hope they follow in our footsteps, making the right choice, doing the right thing," said South linebacker and Myrtle Beach High School senior Octavius Thomas.
"Some of these kids play football, and others want to sign up to play soon," explained Frye. "So to have these older guys be role models and look up to them, it's just great to see happen."
$4400 were spent on the kids, and while providing a happy holiday, some friendships were also crafted along the way.
"Justin (our partner) was kind of shy at first, but then we got some toys, and put some stuff in the cart, and we got to know who the real Justin was," said North quarterback Devin Pearson, who helped an eight-year old to shop with Thomas. "It just felt good to see a smile on his face."
"Playing football is something I love to do, it's a blessing every time I get to play, and giving back is a blessing as well, so it's just a great day for me," said Thomas.
The North-South game will kickoff at 12:30 on Saturday, December 8th from Doug Shaw Stadium.