Police officers shop with Lexington kids for sports gear

Right inside the new Academy Sport and Outdoors, an excited group of young athletes is getting ready to fill their shopping carts.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 10:27 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Right inside the new Academy Sport and Outdoors, an excited group of young athletes is getting ready to fill their shopping carts.

“I said what do you want to do? What do you really want to do? He said I want to play basketball and I want to box. So we got him in boxing and as soon as basketball season starts, I’ll help him do that,” said parent, Lisa Stewart.

But as Lisa Stewart, and any parent can tell you, putting your kids in sports isn’t cheap. But it is all worth it seeing Dameyon’s eyes light up on Thursday.

“Wonderful, honey, it’s just wonderful. I can’t explain the words because I’ll be crying and stuff, but a joy. It really is a joy.”

Dameyon and around 20 other kids who are a part of the Police Athletic League were given gift cards to shop for gear, and a few fun items, in the new store.

“It’s the community partnership, it’s the enthusiasm from the kids, that really makes our days great,” said Store Director, Justin Fleming.

And they weren’t doing it alone.

“They’re our community. And as cliched as it sounds, these kids are going to grow up and they’re going to be the future of our community. So making a difference at a young age and showing them police officers aren’t necessarily someone to be scared of, we want to be a role model. We want to a be a positive influence on our life,” said Kristyn Klingshirn, with the Lexington Police Department.

Every child teamed up with an officer, or in Dameyon’s case, two officers in training, to shop. And to learn from each other.

“See that maybe we are making a little bit of difference in these kids lives. Even if it is more of the fact they got a bike, than that they shopped with an officer for that bike, well who cares? It’s nice to see that we can bring something positive to them.”

At least for Dameyon, he seems to be walking away with very cool new shoes, and two new friends.

Those at Academy Sports and Outdoors also surprised the police department with a $2,000 donation. And each child received a $150 gift card.

The store is now open at 3220 Nicholasville Road.