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Gates Holiday Tradition Continues to be a Success
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Everyone knows what kind of player Antonio Gates is.
He’s one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history, a legendary Charger, a perennial Pro Bowler and a shoe-in to enter the Hall of Fame whenever his storied career comes to an end.
What everyone ought to know as well is what kind of special human being he is off the field.
Gates held his seventh annual Shop with a Charger event at the Walmart on Murphy Canyon Road on Tuesday. Fifty children from the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos and the Monarch School enjoyed dinner followed by a $100 shopping spree with some of their favorite Chargers.
“I think the idea of it is the Christmas spirit,” Gates said of his event. “There’s no other way to appreciate Christmas and the holidays other than making smiles and giving these kids the opportunity to be happy. The main goal for me is to give these kids the opportunity to receive gifts and understand what it’s like to have a Christmas. And most importantly, it’s to show them attention and love, which some of these kids in certain situations don’t get. I was fortunate enough to have both my parents, and to me the biggest contribution my parents made was they gave me and showed me love. And that’s what I try to do for these kids.”
Many of Gates’ teammates were in attendance as well, including Jahleel Addae, Seyi Ajirotutu, Danario Alexander, Keenan Allen, Ronnie Brown, Vincent Brown, Crezdon Butler, Marcus Cromartie, D.J. Fluker, Ladarius Green, Lavelle Hawkins, Melvin Ingram, Brandon Taylor, Darrell Stuckey and Shareece Wright. For them, they relished the opportunity to not only support a good cause, but a great teammate in Gates.
“This is cool,” said Vincent Brown. “Anytime you can come out and help out these kids, that’s a cool thing. Then it is also great to help out somebody like Gates. This event says a lot about him and who he is as a person. He loves to help out in the community and give back, and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
Still, above all else, the Shop with a Charger event was all about giving back to the San Diego youth.
“This is all about the kids,” said Alexander. “This is about giving them something to smile about and something to look forward to. If there is a good cause, I try to make sure to be there for it. And this is one. Gates is a teammate of mine and this is a really good cause.”