Easterseals New York spread joy this holiday season throughout the communities it serves with a series of memorable Holiday Cheer events.
The Easterseals Child Development Center in the Bronx held two holiday Cheer events, on Monday, December 11, and Friday December 15. The New York State Fraternal Order of Police and Philip Laffey Real Estate, both longtime supporters of Easterseals, provided toys to all of the children. Angela Torres, the Center’s Director, greeted smiling parents, friends and family members as they crowded into the classrooms to watch the happy kids, who were called one by one to receive their presents from Philip Laffey, dressed as Santa Claus.
The Port Jervis Community Outreach event on Monday December 18 served over 350 people – the biggest turnout ever. The annual event provides needy members of the Port Jervis community with food, including holiday hams and turkeys, as well as winter coats and other clothing, and Christmas presents for the children. Orange & Rockland Utility Company and Bon Secours Community Hospital generously donated many of the items that were distributed to grateful members of the community.
Robert Mascialino, a longtime supporter of the Fedcap family of agencies, led a team of dedicated volunteers from Garibaldi Lodge 542, New York State Masons, 10th Manhattan District. Robert, who is Chairman of the District’s Toys for Tots program, has spearheaded efforts to provide donations of food and clothes to the Community Outreach event since 2011. Members of the Port Jervis Police Department also eagerly pitched in as volunteers. Barbara Kuczyra, a nurse at the Project Discovery preschool who has organized the event for many years, welcomed community members by name, and graciously thanked sponsors for their generosity.
On Wednesday December 20 At Project Excel in Monticello New York, a staff member Santa Claus visited each classroom and handed out gifts to the children. Catherine Stawarz, Director of Project Excel, led staff in making the event a memorable one for the children and their families -including a band comprised of staff members, who played festive music as they followed Santa to the classrooms. Philip Laffey Real Estate contributed many of the toys that were distributed to the kids.
At the Project Explore Holiday Cheer event in Valhalla, New York, parents and staff were treated to performances by every class. The children sang holiday songs and danced, delighting family members and friends in the crowded auditorium, who snapped pictures throughout the performances. Lisa Smacchia, Director of Education Services, thanked parents and staff, as well as the Westchester Community Service Committee of Local Union 3 of IBEW for donating gifts and serving as volunteers. “This holiday season as in years past, the communities served by Easterseals New York have benefitted greatly from our donors,” said Marianne Gribbon, Senior Director for Childhood Programs. “Their generosity and compassion reminds us of our purpose, which is to touch lives in a positive way.”