CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WCNC) – More than 700 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students got to spend the day with Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton, who sponsored School Pride Day at Charlotte's Memorial Stadium.
It is the second year the Cam Newton Foundation has sponsored the event that this year featured students from 40 CMS middle schools.
"If you are happy to be here, let me hear you make some noise," Newton told the kids who cheered wildly as Newton walked in sporting an orthopedic boot on his left foot, a reminder that he is still recovering from ankle surgery last March.
"Anytime I have a chance to talk and show my face, I'm going to do it," Newton said.
Teams of 15 students from each of the schools competed with each other in a number of athletic and academic-themed events.
As the teams competed, Newton walked around greeting each group and interacting with as many kids as he could.
After shaking hands with student Nicholas Rossi, Rossi smiled and said, "My hand is famous!"
Another student, Mathew Mangum, also got to meet the Panthers' quarterback.
"It was amazing, "said Mangum, adding, "Meeting somebody that I can look at on the field and see him with all those people, someone so famous. It's really cool."
All the students picked to attend the event were chosen on the basis of their grades, behavior, and class attendance.
"It is very important, not only for them to do the right thing, it is important for me to give back to the community," Newton said.
Newton said his ankle was feeling "great," and he said he was still keeping in touch with his now former-receiver Steve Smith.
"I talk to him on a regular basis and it is good to see he's doing great in Baltimore," said Newton.
While the kids couldn't get enough of talking with Cam Newton, Newton himself seemed to enjoy it all as much or even more then the students.
"Even though I am giving back to the community, it is so much more that they kids are giving back to me," Newton said.