Nicole Tepper, Panthers host third annual ‘Joy to the Carolinas’

CHARLOTTE — Carolina Panthers owner Nicole Tepper, the Panthers, Coca-Cola Consolidated and Charlotte Motor Speedway teamed Tuesday up to host the third annual “Joy to the Carolinas.”

Around 1,500 people were treated to toys, food, winter items, shoes, socks and health kits. The families were able to meet the rookies of the Carolina Panthers and drive around Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Christmas light show.

[PAST COVERAGE: Panthers bring holiday cheer to 800 children, parents]

“My favorite part is just seeing a kid smile,” Tepper said. “I was emotional all day today, I probably cried 500 times. I just think about the child that has no idea what he or she is coming to tonight.”

Smiles were abundant and families drove around the track. Kids were overjoyed by the experience.

Tepper said her favorite part of the event was giving the families all the food, toys, smiles and support.

“To know that they know there are people out there that care about them and families that care about them, and we know they are there and are going to make this holiday special for them, is probably my favorite part,” she said.

(WATCH BELOW: Panthers, Charlotte FC ready to kick off holidays with Tree Lighting Festival)