The Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) recently held its annual children’s holiday party, an event it has held for more than 35 years.
“We bring in Santa Claus…to give out gifts to all of [the kids], said Noel DiGerolamo, president of the Suffolk PBA.
“Santa has about 1,600 elves today,” said Lou Civello, second vice president of the Suffolk PBA, “and it really is the nicest thing that we do as an organization.
Ronal Ross, a Suffolk PBA member, explained that the event starts in September, when children are asked what they want from Santa.
“Starting from September up until approximately a week ago, we’re trying to make that happen, so we’ll coordinate with Santa to make sure that each kid does in fact get their present or their wish,” Ross said.
Jackie DiGerolamo, a volunteer, said her dad brings her every year.
“I help hand out like candy canes and gifts,” she said. “It makes the kids happy, and they get so excited to see the elves and Santa.”
In addition to the local precincts, special command units participate in the festive event, including aviation, K9 and emergency services.
The overwhelming kindness and compassion that the PBA is showing by shopping for every individual student, it just makes us so proud and grateful,” said Laura Papaleo, principal of the Premm Learning Center of Eastern Suffolk BOCES in Oakdale, which hosts the holiday party. “This is the most inspiring act of kindness I’ve seen a long time.”
Learn more about the Suffolk PBA’s annual children’s holiday party in the video above.
—Reporting by Waldo Cabrera