Elfrid Payton, Nikola Vucevic and Marreese Speights Team Up with PepsiCo. for a Holiday Shopping Spree with Local Youth

By Josh Cohen
Dec. 12, 2017

ORLANDO – Most of you can probably remember the coolest, and most unique, gifts you ever received during the holidays. Perhaps they were presents that came from very special people in your life or maybe you just loved these items more than others.

The same can be said for gifts you’ve given to someone else. Maybe you recall seeing the joy on their faces as they unwrapped these particular presents or, in other cases, the gift exchange was shared between you and someone very important to you.

It certainly won’t be difficult for 100 children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida to remember some of the gifts they picked out, either for themselves or for family and friends, this year.

That’s because three of their favorite sports stars helped them make these selections. Orlando Magic players Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton and Marreese Speights teamed up with PepsiCo. for a holiday shopping spree at a local Walmart for these Boys & Girls Club members on Tuesday.

Each child received a $100 Walmart gift card, courtesy of PepsiCo., and they filled up their shopping carts with Vucevic, Payton, Speights and other Magic volunteers by their side.

“I really enjoy it a lot,” said Vucevic, who has participated in this event several times. “It’s just fun to spend time with kids. Being able to give back to them. It’s a fun time. This is one of my favorite events so I’m glad to be back here.”

It’s especially important to help raise children’s spirits during the holidays, Payton says, and he’s delighted to assist.

“That sense of giving, sense of hope, holidays are usually a time when people are together,” he said. “You never know what people are going through so to be able to help them (this time of year), that feeling is always great.”

Speights remembers how excited he would get each year for Christmas when he was growing up, and now he’s grateful to be in a position to help kids have that same feeling.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “It’s a blessing for us. During the holiday season, it’s special because it’s about giving back, giving to them the things they probably never had or never could afford. It’s good to be here, it’s good to be around them and I’m excited for them.”

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