Fifty excited children from 12 local elementary schools were treated to an afternoon of comfort and joy, as the Rotary Club of Warwick put together a holiday event featuring the music and magic show of funny man Jay Brunelle of JB Entertainment, plus a one-on-one unicycle jousting match between him and club member Dr. Tim Hudynica.
But that’s not all.
They enjoyed a pizza feast, cupcakes and the biggest delight of the day: a visit from Santa Claus. Each child sat atop his lap and was given a wrapped present. They raced to open their gifts and made, “Oohs,” and “Ahs,” with every rip of paper.
Boys received remote control cars or razor scooters, among other toys, which they merrily zoomed in the gymnasium of Robertson Elementary School, while girls were giddy with Barbie Dolls and miniature dollhouses, to name a few.
Rotarians were on hand with scissors to snip open packaging, plus batteries to power toys. They said they were happy to do so.
“The children are our future,” said Rotarian Brian Wallin. “Maybe one day when they grow up they’ll become Rotarians and do the same thing.”
Additionally, children were each given a $40 gift card to Wal-Mart for a new winter coat, as well as a $14 gift car to Payless Shoes.
They were all grateful for everything they received and shared some of their favorite things about Christmas.
“I like that Santa Claus is here,” said Robertson second grader Natasha Melfi, 7.
“I like to celebrate with my friends and family,” said Ryan Dean, 6, a first grader at John Brown Francis.
His twin brother Joshua agreed and summed it up with glee.
“I like helping to decorate the Christmas tree,” he said. “I love ornaments and my mom gave me one that’s blue and has sparkles on it.”