FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Titans players and cheerleaders joined forces with Academy Sports + Outdoors on Tuesday to brighten the holiday season for 30 youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Franklin and Fairview.
Linebacker Will Witherspoon, tight end
Witherspoon said the Titans enjoyed meeting the youth and seeing them able to pick out what they wanted. He said one boy in his group was able to pick out a skateboard, accessories and a “great basketful of things.”
“It was good to see them take full advantage of the opportunity,” Witherspoon said. “They’re enjoying life, and really enjoying the fact that they got to come out and go shopping and get some of the things they wanted.”
President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee Dan Jernigan said the unique "Shop with the Titans" event was an “absolute delight” for the organization’s members.
“It was a joy to see the smiles on their faces as they shopped for gifts for themselves and their family members,” Jernigan said. “We want to send a special thank you to the Titans players and cheerleaders who came out and gave their time in service to our Club members.
“In addition, I would like to thank the Academy Sports + Outdoors in Franklin/Cool Springs for their hospitality and generosity for making this event possible,” Jernigan continued. “Their commitment to underwrite the costs made it all possible.”
The shopping spree was an extension of the great partnership between the Titans and Academy Sports Outdoors.
“Academy Sports + Outdoors is really excited our NFL partner, the Tennessee Titans, could help spread a little Christmas cheer to some deserving kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee,” said Rick Burleson, Regional Marketing Specialist for Tennessee Academy Sports + Outdoors.
Witherspoon said being involved in the community allows him and his teammates to reveal their personalities that don’t always come across during intense game competition.
“It’s great to be in the community and do things and let people know who you are outside of the helmet,” Witherspoon said. “It’s always been a big part of my career. I always wanted to make it happen. People need to know who you are outside the helmet so they don’t think you’re this raging monster all the time or whatever they decide you are (from how hard you play on the field).”
Titans director of cheerleading Stacie Kinder said the cheerleaders consider shopping with the youth as part of their holiday traditions.
“It’s wonderful to see the excitement in the children's eyes when they are choosing their gifts,” Kinder said. “It's really what Christmas is all about.”