Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lumberjacks play role of holiday heroes

By Christopher Heimerman, Muskegon Lumberjacks

"Candy or video games? Candy or video games?" Lance Fredrickson asked. "You pick. Video games? OK, let's go!"

And away they went.

The Muskegon Lumberjacks players, each with a Muskegon-area youngster and a $100 gift card, jumped into action like it was Game 5 of the Clark Cup finals.

One can only hope Shop With the Jacks, which took place at the Meijer Superstore on Henry Street, will be an annual affair. Meijer donated the gift cards, and the Jacks' players gladly donated their time to help lesser-privileged kids put a few more presents under the Christmas tree this year.

Jordan Masters put aside his distaste for Michigan State long enough to help pick out a Sparty hoodie. Brendan Woods (eventually) learned how to use the price check scanner to add up purchases. Kevin Albers and Jaycob Megna, a couple of the Jacks' more physically imposing defensemen, smiled from ear to ear as they spent a considerable amount of time perusing the Barbie doll aisle.

But the play of the game once again came from Travis Walsh who, when his shopper accidentally overspent, pulled out his debit card to take care of the balance.

The event was a perfect example of pay it forward, and it melted at least one reporter's heart. I'd like to meet anyone who doesn't feel all warm and gooey inside when they see kids given $100 to spend and, for the most part, they want to spend it on their family members. It's the embodiment of the holiday spirit – people being driven by the satisfaction of making others happy.

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