LONE TREE, Colo. --**Christmas came early for 42 kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver as part of the sixth annual "Shop with a Bronco" on Tuesday night.
Chosen from 14 different branches of Boys and Girls Clubs based on leadership and academics, kids went on a shopping spree at the Park Meadows location of Sports Authority with 15 Broncos players, including Bradley Roby, Sylvester Williams, Lamin Barrow and Montee Ball. The store was closed to the public and each child was given a $125 gift card, along with a 20 percent discount at checkout.
"This is something very near and dear to both the Broncos and Sports Authority," said Mike Foss, the CEO of Sports Authority. "We're just pleased about the passion the Broncos players are showing behind this.
"It means so much to the kids. The gift cards and all that is fun, but what they'll remember is walking around with the Broncos talking to them, helping them pick out gifts. It's the most special part of the whole event."
Fifteen Broncos players, six cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot joined kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs for the sixth annual "Shop with a Bronco" on Tuesday.
The turnout from Broncos players was the largest in the event's history, and six Denver Broncos Cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot also joined in to help the kids choose their gifts. One of the most frequently visited sections in the store was filled with Broncos gear, as young fans picked up apparel and merchandise for themselves and their families.
"They seem like big Broncos fans at a young age, so definitely a plus for us," Barrow said with a smile. He added that he enjoyed watching the kids "just kind of run wild through the store and get something that they've been looking for, that they've been eyeing that they didn't necessarily have the funds to get. Now they can, so it's a good feeling. You see all their faces light up, it's very heartwarming."
Williams, who also said he learned a lot about shopping from the kids in his group, expressed similar feelings.
"It's very special because I can remember growing up as a kid and I would have loved to have an opportunity like this," Williams said. "Obviously I didn't, so to be able to give back and do this is great. I'm having a lot of fun."
Roby enjoyed his time as well, helping one of the kids mix and match shoes, pants and shirts for new outfits, mostly featuring the scarlet and red of Roby's alma mater, Ohio State. The Broncos' rookie corner enjoyed the experience and said it excites him to get more involved in community events in the future. "I've never been a part of something like this but I had a lot of fun," Roby said, smiling. "I'll definitely be doing it next year. I want to branch out more and help the community and just see the community more. I'm new here, it's my first year so this is great to be able to interact with the kids. It's a lot of fun."