Hundreds gathered at the Chester Addison Community Center Sunday to celebrate the holidays. The Jackie Robinson Park of Fame hosted its 35th Christmas Extravaganza, where families enjoyed a free dinner, entertainment, and a gift for each child.
“So many people are in need,” says Trenet DaRosa of the Jackie Robinson Park of Fame. “We have so many earthly disasters going on, we have poverty, we have economic distress, so we just want to give that family a time where they can breath and relax and just enjoy each other around a nice meal, give the kids a gift, you know just have everybody smiling.”
“I think it’s a good idea to get everyone in the community in one place and then just be a family,” says one volunteer.
“A lot of kids that come here and come to this program, they’re not going to get much for Christmas,” says Lakeeya Gordon, counselor at Chester Addison. “So to expect that they know they’re going to see Santa today or sit on his lap instead of going to the mall paying $25 for a photo, it makes a big difference in their life and an impact.”
“I’ve always felt that it’s an obligation for people that are more fortunate to help the less fortunate, and this is just one way of doing it,” says Henry Marx, the event’s Santa. “You really got to help your neighbor.”