Professional golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy greet children and parents as they enter the San Diego Murphy Canyon Wal-Mart store at a past Start Smart at Wal Mart event. Amy was unable to attend this year's event because she's being treated for breast cancer.
It's rarely this much fun to see summer end and school begin.
On Saturday, however, hundreds of kids anxiously waited in line for their school supplies. It was the fifth annual Start Smart at Wal Mart in Murphy Canyon. Professional golfer, and San Diegan, Phil Mickelson puts on the event every year for kids who are selected on a basis of need and/or achievement.
"It's just astonishing I got picked," said Alexis Mccauley while she shopped for new clothes with her mom
This year, 1500 kids from 45 schools around the county were selected for a free shopping spree. They walked away with new outfits and backpacks full of school supplies.
"It's amazing how he gives back to his community," Laura Mccauley said.
Over the past five years, Mickelson, and his wife, Amy, have treated 6,500 kids from 135 different schools to the event. The estimated total cost is up to about $250,000. Mickelson says it's been worth every penny.
"I think that's the neatest thing for me is seeing the kids faces when they get to pick out something new because so many of them have never had their own clothes or shoes that are brand new."
Amy Mickelson had to miss Saturday's event because she's being treated for breast cancer. Her husband was text messaging with her to let her know how it was going.
"Amy's been doing ok. She has good days, she has bad days. It's day to day. She wishes she could have been here," he said.
Mickelson said he plans to continue the event every year.