Sidney Crosby is all about hockey. His shopping buddy Josh is a big Penguins fan. What could the two possibly talk about while shopping for winter essentials?
“I heard you play football,” Crosby said.
“Yeah, I’m a safety,” Josh explained.
The hunt for a good pair of gloves went from fashion to function in a heartbeat.
“Do these have a good enough grip?” Crosby asked. “Think you can catch the ball with those?”
Josh slipped on the gloves and jumped in the air as to catch an imaginary football. He gave Crosby a nod of approval.
Their hunt for gloves was just a small part of a day that brought local middle school children selected by the Salvation Army to Dick’s Sporting Goods in Cranberry to shop for new winter clothing including coats, hats, gloves and boots.
The ninth-annual “Project Bundle-Up” didn’t just entail a quick shopping trip. The kids also had a pizza lunch, a chance for photos and autographs with the players and goody bag of candy before it was all said and done.
“Any time you can help out in the community it’s a great thing,” Chris Kunitz said. “If we can be there to shed some light and help kids get some clothes so they can stay warm in the winter – it’s part of our job.”
It was especially important for the up and coming football star leading Sidney Crosby around the racks of coats and shelves of hats.
“I guess he’s outside a lot,” Crosby said. “I think he’s going to get some good use out of everything.”
In the past, Crosby has always started the shopping trip by asking the kids their favorite color. Usually he gets a red or a blue, something simple. Not this time.
“Black and gold,” Crosby laughed. “It’s kind of fitting. Growing up here I’m sure there are a lot of kids that are the same.”
“My older brother is going to be jealous,” Russell told his shopping partner Marc-Andre Fleury. The duo gave each other high-fives after every item selection.
Russell and Fleury even joined Patric Hornqvist and his buddy Cody for some fun pictures at the Photo Booth.
Hornqvist put his arm around Cody at the beginning of the day and asked, “Are you ready to shop?” Cody, who said Hornqvist is his new favorite player, even did an interview with a radio station thanks to some encouragement from the Swede.
“(Hornqvist) is my favorite,” Cody told the reporter. “Thank you Pens!”
Meanwhile Rob Scuderi and Pascal Dupuis showed their fatherly sides while selecting items for their shopping partners. Dupuis made sure all the clothing were the same color so that it would match.
Scuderi gave out this piece of advice: “It’s better to get clothes that are a little bigger, that way you can use them for two years.”
Back at the cashier register were Josh and Crosby.
“Do you guys take donations?” Josh asked the cashier as he reached into his pockets.
The cashier explained that they do have benefits and promotions from time to time, but didn’t suggest anything of the boy.
Regardless, he the put change he had on the counter hoping to contribute to a cause.
“It was really nice for him to think like that,” Crosby said. “That says a lot about him.”