'The True Spirit...'
On Friday, December 16, Council Member Paul Vallone and his Student Ambassadors joined the Auburndale Soccer Club and Dwarf- Giraffe Athletic Association as they distributed hundreds of toys, collected throughout December, to the children at St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children.
“If there was any event that embodied the true spirit and true meaning of Christmas, it was this one,” Council Member Vallone said. “This year was even more special because our very own high school Student Ambassadors organized their high schools on behalf of fellow kids in need at St Mary’s Hospital. The Ambassadors represent the four high schools within our district: Bayside High School, World Journalism Preparatory School, Holy Cross High School and St. Agnes Academic High School. They worked hand in hand with their fellow students, the Dwarf-Gwarf Athletic League and the Auburndale Soccer Club to collect hundreds of toys.”
Dr. Edwin Simpser, President and CEO of St. Mary’s, thanked Vallone’s Student Ambassadors for the effort. “St. Mary’s kids are facing complex medical challenges, and I know that these gifts will put a smile on each child’s face and bring some holiday cheer,” he said.
Josip Banovic, Student Ambassador from Holy Cross High School said, “The St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital Toy Drive, working in partnership with Holy Cross High School, was an astounding success! With help from the Holy Cross administration, student ambassadors and local sports groups, the amount of toys was truly amazing. This drive gives me hope, showing that our community cares about each other. This toy drive is just a small thing that we can all participate in to help better the lives of these children.”
José Rodríguez, corresponding secretary of the Dwarf-Giraffe Athletic League, said, ”On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Dwarf Giraffe Athletic League, we would like to thank Councilman Vallone for asking us to partner with him in his annual toy drive to benefit the children at St. Mary’s Hospital. Once again our DG members made us proud by their show of generosity and community support. “
Council Member Vallone added, “As we exchanged and distributed the toys, the children, staff, doctors, volunteers and families were all sharing smiles, stories and laughter and we just knew this was a very special moment we would all remember.”