On Sunday, January 13th, hundreds of kids from low income families in Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy filled the Transfiguration Church gym for a Holiday Party hosted by the Grand Street Boys Association. The kids played games, did arts & crafts and competed in a dance contest at the free event, which for many was their only chance to celebrate the Holidays.
Celebrity guests including Spiderman and SpongeBob helped distribute wrapped presents to each child, but only one lucky kid got to take home the grand prize of a free raffle, a Nintendo 3DS XL. There was also a DJ, a magic show and a free lunch.
“We just want the best for them,” said event chair Ruben Flores, who noted that it took countless volunteers to convert the gym into a “winter wonderland,” overnight.
Founded in 1919, the Grand Street Boys’ main mission is to improve conditions for youth through sports and education, assist the disad¬vantaged and disabled and support returning military from every war. Notable past members include Jimmy Walker, Nat “King” Cole, Red Buttons, Milton Berle, Jackie Robinson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and many more future American leaders. The non-profit also provides assistance at veterans’ medical centers, hospitals and rehabilitation centers, as well as to boys and girls clubs and senior citizen groups.
The timing for Sunday’s event could not have come at a better time, according to Grand Street Boys Board Member Rob Solano. “During these difficult times, [it] sends a clear message that we have not forgotten the [kids]” he said.