WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Thirty lucky kids from the Boys & Girls Club got the chance of a lifetime on Thursday afternoon.
Academy Sports and Outdoors on Watson Boulevard in Warner Robins is opening its doors to the public for the first time on Friday, but the sporting goods store welcomed its first customers a day early--with a shopping spree.
Footballs, bicycles, basketball goals, and yes, even candy. The kids got anything they wanted in an all-out shopping spree.
"Any time we open a new store at Academy, we always look to give back to our community," says store director Thomas Stubbs. "We want to be involved in our communities, and one way we do that is our 'Give Back' event where we bring in about 30 kids locally here, give them some gift cards, and they have a VIP shopping experience."
Each kid was handed a gift card, compliments of Academy, in the amount of $100 and led around by the store's employees.
"It's two-fold," says Stubbs. "The associates, number one, get that experience of being able to walk around with a child--or a customer--and help them with their shopping experience, but it also helps out the kids as well."
The president of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Georgia, Lee Wagner, says his organization couldn't be more thankful to Academy.
"We certainly appreciate Academy Sports for keeping us in mind," says Wagner. "With this opportunity, we know that there were a number of deserving organizations that could have been contacted, but for them to select us, it just means the world to not only the organization, but most importantly, to the kids that benefited from this opportunity."
Don't take Mr. Wagner's word for it though.
"I didn't know we were going to do this when we started the Boys & Girls Club," says one of the lucky shoppers, Candarrius Lane. "This means everything."
Academy isn't stopping there. Friday morning when the doors open at 8 a.m., the first 100 people to show associates that they "like" Academy on Facebook will receive a free cooler.