Special Santa Visit

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Recently, AdvAdventureSanta_122714Aentures in Learning’s after-school students were buzzing with excitement in eager anticipation of a special arrival from the North Pole. With an impetus from Santa, quietly behind the scenes local community members and organizations dropped off gifts for the children that were later given to them at Adventures’ annual holiday party.
As the students gathered at Adventures to celebrate, they had the most wonderful surprise. Lo and behold, Santa Claus’s assistant (aka Bill Collard of Manhasset) arrived laden with gifts! Excitement was everywhere. Many children remarked that it was amazing as to how much he resembled Santa! And once he had distributed the gifts, he gave a merry “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and bade farewell, so that he could return to the North Pole in a timely fashion before Christmas Eve. The children waved goodbye and called out their thanks to him.
Bill Collard remarked, “I stopped by Adventures to assist Santa Claus in providing gifts to the children. As always, I received far more from the children in terms of kindness and enthusiasm than I was able to give to them in presents.”
Families from Great Neck’s Saddle Rock Elementary School under the leadership of Eti Sadon, as well as Manhasset’s Shelter Rock Elementary School’s families were among the local organizations that also provided toys and other gifts.
Annie Holdreith of Daniel Gale Real Estate in Manhasset organized the toy drive. She was very enthusiastic, noting that “everyone at Daniel Gale was happy to participate and make a difference in the children’s lives!”
Both the Congregational Church of Manhasset and the Community Reformed Church organized toy drives for Adventures, too, while local Manhasset attorney, Rita Eredics, and her fellow Manhasset Kiwanis Club members once again assembled packages of warm hats, scarves and gloves for each student.
Regina Papa and her Secret Santas from Plandome delivered gifts. They have quietly been doing this for over seven years, and Papa said, “Every year someone says to me that this secret gift giving makes them feel so good. So we did it again! We are blessed to be able to do this.”
AIL’s Executive Director, Diana Holden commented that she “loves the annual holiday party because it brings our community together in such a wonderfully festive and giving way. Everyone at Adventures is most appreciative.”
Founded 45 years ago in 1969 by the Congregational Church in Manhasset, Adventures in Learning
is a nonprofit organization. It is an
after-school education and enrich­ment program, located in the Hagedorn Community Center at the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC building at 65 High Street, Manhasset, dedicated to improving the lives of children in Manhasset and Great Neck in need of after school care and instruction.

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