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Pompano Helps HSBN Close Toy Drive With Holiday Delivery

Santa chats with two Cross Creek students as he presents them with surprise gifts on Friday.

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As sounds of laughter and celebration echoed all around her, Cross Creek School principal Colleen Stearn was so overcome with the joy that her students felt that she had to wipe away a few tears. Friday afternoon Santa Claus arrived with an escort of Pompano Beach baseball players and delivered toy gifts to the Cross Creek students. Thanks to you, these children enjoyed Christmas.

For the past few years High School Baseball Network has teamed with the baseball community for a Christmas toy drive for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, and again this year you all stepped up to make a huge difference to so many young ones. This holiday season HSBN also reached out to local families in need and the Cross Creek students, as well as the donation to Joe DiMaggio Hospital. Your continued and growing generosity helped us reach more families in need to help make sure no one was forgotten this year.

“To see them so happy makes me so happy,” Stearn said. “I’ve worked in education for a long time and when you see the holidays bring the joy of what it is supposed to bring it is just such a wonderful feeling. I am just so grateful for everybody that did that for us.”

Stearn and the rest of the Cross Creek staff know the challenges that some of these kids face. Not all of the students have great home lives and some do not even have parents. The holiday season may not mean the same thing, until Santa arrived to remind them all just how much he cares about them.

“The gift that they got today might be the only gift that some of these kids get for the holidays,” said Joe Giummule, a Cross Creek teacher and also the Pompano Beach baseball manager.

Contributions came from so many on this holiday season. The baseball teams from Belen Jesuit, Coral Gables, Coral Glades, Cypress Bay, Douglas, i-Mater and Plantation filled toy boxes full of gift donations, and Cecile’s Italian Ices, Cookies By Design and Guido’s Restaurant all also filled a toy boxes or helped with valuable service donations. The toys were distributed right into the hands of those that needed them the most. Members of the Coral Glades baseball team volunteered to shovel and deliver snow for the annual children’s party, while Giummule and the Pompano Beach baseball team helped arrange Santa’s visit to Cross Creek School.

“To see them so happy makes me so happy,” Cross Creek principal Colleen Stearn said.

“I saw it advertised on the website and I just thought of the school that I teach at and the dynamics of the students that we have here and how unfortunate a lot of these kids are,” Giummule said. “This was remarkable and I can’t thank HSBN enough for allowing us to come together with the Pompano Beach high school baseball team to do this. We were able to put smiles on 80 children today.”

Those smiles will extend beyond what we saw, creating an amazing ripple of happiness to more children. After each student selected a toy, HSBN informed them they had all been so good this year they got a second toy. Most of them selected something to bring to a brother or sister at home.

Francis McCovern spent this entire year growing his beard so that he could bring the joy of Santa to thousands of kids this holiday season.

It is this type of community effort that makes a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

Santa was chauffeured to the school thanks to Richie Millett and Cloud 9 Limousines, who arranged for a private limo for Mr. Kringle. Ralph Notaro and 9 Digit Media then provided Santa a motorcycle ride around the campus to surprise the students.

“Anytime I get a chance to do any help when it comes to kids in the community, I always love to help out,” Notaro said. “I feel that throughout the year I am always giving to family and friends and whoever is in need, and when it comes to the little ones I’m always gung-ho for it. So I am happy to be here and the kids all seemed to have a great time. That’s what it’s all about.”

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