LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – In partnership with Academy Sports + Outdoors Thursday, 20 athletes from the Lexington Police Activities League (PAL) got the chance to shop with a cop.

Each kid was given a $150 gift card to buy whatever sporting gear and clothes they wanted.

For PAL, the event brought a certain holiday spirit, although a few months early.

“We see these kids every day or just about every day and for these kids to have an opportunity to come out and shop, and get free items, it’s like Christmas for them today! Today is Christmas in September,” said PAL representative Jonathan Washington.

The kids shopped til they dropped.

For store employees, seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces is what it is all about for them.

“It’s a great thing,” said store director Justin Fleming. “To see excitement, to see smiling faces, and to get to see them buy what they want to buy, it just creates a great partnership for us as Academy into the community.”

Parents say groups like PAL give so much to their kids.

“It’s a world of influence for the kids who are trying to be proactive in sports and other things like that,” said Chris Delapenha. “To stay out of the vices of the community and things like that. Now more than ever it means a ton cause there is that distance between the police and the community and whatnot and now the kids have to know the police are their friends”

The kids recognize how lucky they were to have this type of shopping spree, with one kid saying;

“It’s not every day people can wake up and be like oh I get to do so and so today with PAL and stuff like that.”

The shopping spree was in part to celebrate Academy’s grand opening this weekend in the South Park Shopping Center off Nicholasville Road.