Boys & Girls Club kids go on a shopping spree with professional golfer (with photos)

By Jillian Marshall

December 20, 2013 Updated Dec 20, 2013 at 12:37 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Christmas is less than a week away, but a handful of local children had Christmas on Thursday with a shopping spree at Dick's Sporting Goods and got to meet a professional athlete.

The fifth annual Christmas Shopping Trip at Dick's with host Champions Tour Professional Joey Sindelar was held Thursday.

Twenty kids from the Binghamton and the Western Broome Boys and Girls Clubs were given $200 apiece to shop till they drop.

Ten kids from each club were picked by their Boys and Girls Club. Director of Youth Development at Western Broome Amy Alexander said they picked kids who were in need and were deserving.

"Kids who make good choices day in and day out, who show that they want to make something of themselves in life, who are striving to make themselves better," Alexander said.

Kids walked around with guides to make sure that they got both what they want and what they need.

"They all want to go over to the sneakers and get something over there that's really cool and flashy, and that's fabulous, but on the other hand, do you need something warm?" Sindelar said.

The kids picked out hats, scarves, sneakers, and coats.

Each gift card came with responsibility, the kids had to watch what they were buying to make sure they stayed in their budget.

For professional golfer and Horseheads native Sindelar, helping these kids in Broome County is like helping in his own backyard.

"They don't want to listen to some golfer talk for 20 minutes or 2 minutes or anything, they want to get after it," Sindelar said, "and it's just watching and feeling the joy happen, it's a blast."

Organizers said it's extra special for the kids to meet and shop with a professional athlete.

"Be able to talk to them a little bit about professional sports, and they're meeting a professional athlete, it's something unique for them," Director of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open John Karedes said.

For most of the kids it's one of two Christmases they will have this year.

"It's like a better Christmas," said Endicott native Alexa.

The shopping spree is sponsored by Broome County Community Charities Inc. and Dick's Sporting Goods.