Two Carolina Panthers surprise Beaufort Co. school with ‘Fuel Up to Play60’

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - Students at Red Cedar Elementary School in Bluffton got a lesson in the importance of fitness with the help of some professional athletes.

Players from the Carolina Panthers came out to the school to host a high-energy pep rally Tuesday morning and the students had no idea.

It was the surprise of the school year for students at Red Cedar Elementary. They got a lesson in the importance of fitness and nutrition with the help of the Carolina Panthers.

"They were full of energy. They were full of life. They truly enjoyed every minute of today and we were happy we were able to do it with them," said Thomas Davis, a linebacker for the Panthers.

It was all part of the NFL and National Dairy Council's "Fuel Up to Play 60." An in-school nutrition and exercise program that promotes healthy eating and at least 60 minutes of exercise each day.

Red Cedar was the first school in the district to adopt the program.

"Well Red Cedar, you know, is a little unique. They do a lot of great things. They are our most recent Palmetto's Finest winner. And they have true community support," said Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Moss.

Davis and kicker Graham Gano led students and teachers in a high-energy competition with fitness races, milk and yogurt drinking contests, and games to teach students the importance of making healthy choices.

"It was so much fun. It's really cool to be able to come out here and give back to the community, especially for the Panthers organization. It's such a great team to play for," said Gano.

Over the past three years, the district has received more than $43,000 in "Fuel Up to Play 60" grants to support nutrition and physical education in schools. For the students, faculty and even the pros, today is a win.

"Whenever you're able to just really spread the word and get these kids encouraged and excited about doing the right things and always putting the right things in their body, then it's a win for everybody," said Davis.

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