As 10 kids arrived at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Leawood on Saturday afternoon, they discovered that a professional football player had given them each $150 to spend.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce began working with Operation Breakthrough and Dick’s Sporting Goods to make this idea of his into reality. After his first football camp wrapped up in the morning, 10 kids from the camp got frozen custard then began shopping for new items to buy.
Kelce spent an hour walking through the store with the kids, finding the right size shoe for them and even his own jersey. He said he was ecstatic to give back to Kansas City since the city accepts his attitude on the field.
“I love KC man, they have embraced me for who I was. Even my knucklehead ways on the field,” Kelce said. “I appreciate who they are and sure enough getting out here in the community and giving them the respect and everything that they gave me back to them.”
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Dick’s Sporting Good community marketing manager for Kansas City and Nebraska Shane Cloepfil was among the many employees excited to see Kelce come through.
“He has been a good pillar in the community with youth sports,” Cloepfil said. “Our whole thing is that sports matter and that’s what we want to drive home.... It means more for the kids than anything else.”
As the kids walked through the store with Kelce, their faces gleamed with happiness.
Every shirt they showed him drew a positive reaction from Kelce. Before they went to check out, he even sat on the floor with some of the kids and helped them calculate how much money they had left or how much they went over.
“It’s awesome to know they’re having as much fun as I am,” Kelce said. “It’s an amazing feeling. It’s something that my mother taught me at a young age that when you have the ability to be an influence and make people happy, to go ahead and do that.”
As the kids finished checking out, Kelce stood in line with them and talked with them as they waited their turns. Some of them could be seen checking out with No. 87 jerseys in their baskets.
As the offseason dwindles and training camp gets closer, Kelce looks forward to getting back on the field in St. Joseph.
“I’m ready, it’s going to be a fun a year I can feel it coming,” Kelce said. “I can feel the nerves going already. It’s something we’re going to have to build during training camp, we’ve got a young group of guys that are hungry, we are ready to prove ourselves right because we know what kind of offense and team we could be.”