Tuesday, September 9: Shopping With the Stars

Last night, the Jason Taylor Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, hosted their “Cool Gear For The School Year” shopping program at Old Navy in Leesburg.

The event provides 60 area kids with a $300 shopping trip to Old Navy, where they’re accompanied by local athletes, cheerleaders, and media. Taylor started the event in 2005 in Miami, and he’s brought it here as part of the process of making the DC area “feel more like home and not just a work stop.”

Students were paired with celebrities and given an hour to shop their way around Old Navy. Each pair was given a $300 gift card, along with a calculator for tracking total price and a couple of shopping bags.

“I just have to carry everything,” said punter Durant Brooks, shrugging. Come on — aren’t you helping to pick some stuff out? “Yeah, he rocks,” said his partner Lydia.

Then there was NBC 4’s Lindsay Czarniak, who was attending as both celebrity co-shopper and working media. Her approach was slightly different.

Tackle Stephon Heyer and his mohawked student shopper were peacefully sifting through the clearance racks when things took a mildly unexpected turn.

Czarniak’s student, thirteen year old Joshua Johnson, sprinted up with an NBC microphone and cameraman in tow and proceeded to interview Heyer about the Redskins season to date.

Johnson reacted afterward pretty much as you’d expect from a thirteen year old on a shopping spree with NFL players. “That was totally awesome,” he said. “These guys are so awesome. I think I want to do THAT now, interviewing. I used to want to do all this other stuff, but now that’s what I want to do.” And were Stephon’s answers good? “Oh, totally. He’s an awesome player, and this is an awesome experience.”

Czarniak was also impressed, although didn’t use the word “awesome” quite as much in expressing it. “He’s really good — I had no idea. He’s going to wind up with my job,” she said.

LB Alfred Fincher, on the other hand, was focused on making sure all the clothes his student picked out were carefully folded after they were taken off the rack. “It helps make more room in the bag,” he said, shrugging.

Other than that, it was just waiting in line to checkout and have your purchases tallied at the register. Just like any other night at Old Navy, really.


15 Responses

  1. good to hear some athletes do care about the kids.

    JT is a class act.

    now can we get a couple sacks on sunday? thanks!

  2. Am proud to be a Redskin Fan.

  3. I need parking passes for the RV lot at FEDEX!!!!!!!! I’ll take a seasons worth off your hands. I can trade for reg green lot passes if you need those. Please repost if you can hook it up. Thanks!

  4. Awesome! :-)

  5. I’d go shopping with the Wizards Dance Team too….

  6. JT Foundation- way to use some of that NFL bounty and invest in the future of the next generations. Bravo!
    Thanks for the coverage, Matt!

  7. Marc . if you have the green lot parking pass you can park right next to the RV’s

  8. Always good to someone give back!


  9. Always good to SEE someone give back!


  10. Durrant Brooks looks young enough to need a teammate to go shopping with him.

  11. Uh, I’ve always been taught that journalists (even sports ones) were supposed to be objective. What’s Lindsay Czarniak doing PARTICIPATING in a Redskins event?

    THat suckup George Michael doesn’t count, b/c he was never a REAL journalist.

  12. JD Johns, who cares as long as we have photos of Lindsay to go along with the story.

  13. It is vintage Jason Taylor, wanting to fit in, giving back to his community and team. He will never change seems to remind us of Dan Marino and other geneous NFL guys.

  14. Sylvia, there’s always a malcontent or jealous person no matter what state you are in. JT is, and will always be loved, appreciated and respected in FL. We miss him and would love to have him back. Try closing your mouth and taking a deep breath and by that time I am sure JT will be making tackles. Then as you exhale, you can put your foot precisely where it belongs.

    Miss you JT…continued success is wished for you from your loyal Dolphan

  15. Tricia- I, too am a loyal dolphin fan. HOWEVER, I thought JT’s exit from Miami was handled terribly by the fans. They were totally ungratful. The Redskin fans, are SO kind, and wonderful, I love it here now. Great atmosphere, and totally positive about everything. I love it.

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