Chicago Bears pass-rusher Khalil Mack played Santa for hundreds of families in his hometown last week.
The Walmart Superstore in Fort Pierce, Fla. announced on Friday that Mack’s foundation had paid off all active holiday layaway accounts.
Fort Pierce is on the Atlantic coast of Florida, just over 100 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale. Mack and his two brothers were born and raised in the city, and he graduated from Fort Pierce Westwood High.
Mathias Libardi, the store manager for the Fort Pierce Walmart, told TCPalm.com that Mack’s eponymous foundation covered the balances for over 300 accounts, but would not reveal the dollar amount. The Chicago Tribune reported that the amount was around $80,000.
“His foundation came to us and said he wanted to be a secret Santa,” Libardi said.
Not his first gift
Mack was only able to play one season of football at Westwood, because of injuries. But in that one season he had 140 tackles and nine sacks and was a first-team all-area selection. The University of Buffalo was the only FBS school to offer Mack a scholarship; he played so well there the Oakland Raiders drafted him fifth overall in 2014.
He was traded from Oakland to Chicago in 2018, but Fort Pierce is never far from Mack’s mind: earlier this year he paid for cleats for all of the players on Westwood’s football team.
The 28-year-old All-Pro was credited with three quarterback hits and a sack in the Bears’ win over the Dallas Cowboys last Thursday.
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