‘The Christmas they deserve’: S.C. high school football players provide shopping spree for kids

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:52 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Christmas came early for a number of young students in the Myrtle Beach area on Thursday.

Players selected for Saturday’s Touchstone Energy Cooperative Bowl took a break from practicing to accompany students on a Christmas shopping spree at Target.

“So we have 88 players, “ said Chase Toler, Public and Member Relations Coordinator for Electric Cooperative South Carolina. “Forty-four from the North team and 44 from the South team. They’re each paired with one local elementary school student and they go out and shop for their holiday wishlist. These students come from really deserving backgrounds and were excited to make this Christmas the Christmas they deserve”

This event has become one of the most beloved Christmas traditions in Myrtle Beach, with South Carolina’s electric cooperatives sponsoring the game and the shopping event.

The cooperatives provide each child with a $150 Target gift card for child necessities like coats, pants and socks, as well as some toys.

“Today is just an amazing day that they get to bond with these elementary students and they get to have big brothers for the day,” said Jennifer Cummings, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator for Horry County Electric Cooperative.

Many of the players have worked hard all throughout high school to be invited to compete in Saturday’s game but were just as excited for this part of the experience.

“It’s awesome. You know, it’s really exciting,” said Jake Doty, a senior at Myrtle Beach High School who was selected to play in the game. “When I was a kid I got to see people from Myrtle Beach do it. I saw it online and it’s kind of surreal to be the one doing it with these kids in my community. It’s even better that I’m in my hometown.”

The Touchstone Energy Cooperative Bowl will be played Saturday at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, with kickoff set for 12:30 p.m. South Carolina’s Mr. Football Award will also be presented at halftime.

Click here for ticket information.