Santa’s New Jersey Devils “elves” came by the College’s Child Development Center (CDC) as a dozen members of the Newark-based professional hockey team staff came by, distributing holiday gifts for the eager preschoolers.
The College was only one of a number of stops on December 20 in Newark as team staff members had a whirlwind day of gift giving. Smaller groups of two to three team staffers stopped by each classroom bearing gifts for the 90 children throughout the Center, before gathering together to say goodbye to their new friends.
Zack Robinson, Devils Senior Director for Ticket Sales & Service, said usually gifts are distributed at the nearby Prudential Center. “But this year, we decided to change it up a little and have been going throughout the city since this morning.” The special guests arrived at Essex about four hours after starting their day.
As she watched the sheer joy on the faces of the children, CDC Director Deloris Grimsley said, “I think this is just great. It’s wonderful that an organization such as the Devils picked us to share the holiday.”
Dean of Student Affairs Keith Kirkland agreed that the collaboration between the College and the local National Hockey League franchise was a win-win for all involved. “And the best part is providing the children with gifts and friendship.”
At the end of gift-giving, groups of children posed with their presents and the Devils staffers. Instead of the traditional “say cheese” as the photos were poised to be taken, the children gleefully shouted out “Devils.”