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Former Panthers LB Luke Kuechly shops with children during holiday event at DICK'S Sporting Goods

15 children from the Partners 4 Parks group joined the former Carolina Panther to shop in Pineville.

PINEVILLE, N.C. — A former Carolina Panthers linebacker known for disrupting opposing offenses traded in the cleats for a new job on Tuesday, Dec. 21. 

Luke Kuechly was joined by 15 children from the Charlotte area for a surprise holiday shopping event inside DICK'S Sporting Goods in Pineville. 

The children are part of the Partners 4 Parks group and received a $150 gift card to shop within the story on Wednesday.

Kuechly, who played eight seasons with the Panthers before retiring in 2020, was able to spend time with the shoppers while also working as a "personal shopping consultant." 

According to DICK'S Sporting Goods, the company hosts these types of events to inspire and enable youth sports participation.

RELATED: Charlotte youth athletes get special Christmas shopping trip with former NFL player

Kuechly is also no stranger to being involved in the Charlotte community. 

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"It was just easy to come out here and talk to the kids," Kuechly said. "Just the smiles on their faces makes you happy. Sometimes, you get more out of it than they do just by seeing how excited they are and how much they enjoy having the opportunity to come in here with their families and grab some cool gear."

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