CHARLOTTE – As a reward for being selected as the Carolina Panthers' Play 60 Super School, Pinewood Elementary received $10,000 and truly memorable afternoon on Tuesday.
Wide receiver Steve Smith, linebacker Thomas Davis and left tackle Jordan Gross joined the TopCats and Sir Purr for a pep rally and game show before the students went outside to rotate through a football themed activity circuit.
Stations included a touchdown celebration station, wide receiver challenge, inflatable obstacle course, field goal kick and 40-yard dash.
"The only word that comes to mind is awesome," said principal Trish Sexton. "It was absolutely awesome. What a great treat for all the students, what a great memory and what a great message."
Panthers Director of Community Relations Riley Fields said Pinewood Elementary was chosen by the NFL "based on their commitment to physical fitness and making healthy eating choices."
Added Fields: "The creative things that they do and the education component they provide as it relates to health and nutrition is fantastic."
The school emphasizes the importance of physical education and promotes well-balanced nutrition with a hands-on community garden program.
"Every class has a garden that they are taking care of, and we promote a fruit and vegetable of the month," Sexton said. "We talk a lot about being healthy and being active. I have a staff that is very active, and they are sending that message every day."
Davis is glad he was able to help reinforce that message to an auditorium filled with some of his biggest fans.
"I'm definitely excited about being a part of this," he said. "It's a positive message, letting kids know that you need to get out of the house and be active. The obesity rate is way too high right now. This is something great that the NFL is putting on, and I'm just happy to be a part of it."
"The most exciting part for me is seeing the smiles on the kids' faces," Davis said. "To see how much they love and support us – there is no greater feeling."