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.