LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A well-known Louisville sports figure spent thousands of dollars paying off the layaway debts of dozens of local shoppers, just in time for Christmas.
The sports figure asked to remain anonymous but told WAVE 3 News he got the idea from a friend in Florida. He wrote a check for almost $13,000 last week at the Wal-Mart off Greenbelt Highway in Pleasure Ridge Park.
Store managers identified 169 families from a list of people who, by that time, had missed their payment deadline for layaway items, said Summer Anthony, an assistant manager.
"Some people cried, a lot of them thanked Jesus," Anthony said. "They were happy there was a 'Santa' out there who was able to help them in a time of need."
Managers began calling the people, who they chose because the customers had put children's toys on layaway. About 10 families haven't picked up their items, Anthony said.
The "Layaway Santa," as Wal-Mart employees are calling the sports figure, came into the store late Wednesday night. The entire operation was done in secret, said Connie Smith, an assistant store manager who worked directly with the Santa.
"There are three or four of us who know for sure who it is," Smith said. "This was one of the best things I got out of this year."
Smith said managers had planned to help about 50 families, but the number grew to 169 when they did price adjustments on the layaway items.
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