Panther Tracks

Carolina Panther Shaq Thompson kicks off fundraiser to support Boys & Girls Clubs

Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson laughs with his teammates at Luke Kuechly's impression during practice at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC on July 30, 2016.
Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson laughs with his teammates at Luke Kuechly's impression during practice at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC on July 30, 2016. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson has launched a fundraising challenge based on the team’s performance. It’ll support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Charlotte.

Called “Shaq Thompson’s Sacks for Kids,” the second-year linebacker’s campaign allows fans to pledge a certain amount for each sack the team makes during the season, according to a statement this week. Pledges are converted to contributions after each game a sack is recorded. Pledges run for the whole season, and can be canceled or adjusted at any time.

This is the first time Thompson has held this kind of fundraiser, a spokesman said.

“Since sports has been so influential in my life, I’m excited about helping raise much needed funds and awareness for the sport programs that the clubs offer to its members,” Thompson said.

The funds support sports and fitness programs at the local Boys & Girls Clubs, which have eight locations in Mecklenburg and Union counties. The clubs provide academic, recreation, arts, character development and life skills programs for kids largely in at-risk communities.

Pledges can be made at pledgeit.org/shaq-thompson. Spearheading the campaign is the Dreambuilders Foundation, which connects professional athletes with “worthy causes helping children in our community,” according to the statement.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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