By Theresa Evans
An evening full of games, pizza and a special visit from Santa helped Rider students come together to bring holiday spirit to the children of Mercer County’s Boys and Girls Club in the Cavalla Room on Dec. 4.
The third annual Bonner student holiday event started off with a performance from Rider’s Dance Team. Rider clubs and organizations, including the Leadership Development Program, RiderSERVES and multiple sororities and fraternities, created activities and 107.7 The Bronc provided music for the event.
Assistant Director of Campus Life for Service Learning Joan Liptrot introduced the children to the variety of activities that the Rider students organized for them.
“Our expectations are that we will provide some holiday fun for some local kids from Trenton who go to the Boys and Girls Club’s after-school programs,” she said. “Hopefully everyone will have fun. The little kids and the big kids.”
The kids smiled while they went from station to station and interacted with the student volunteers. The Cavalla Room was decorated with Santa hats and Christmas stockings.
Even the volunteers got into the holiday spirit, dressing as elves and wearing reindeer antlers.
“I thought it was important to volunteer because it will give the kids something to do and will get them looking forward to the holidays,” said freshman marketing major Sarah Loricco.
Senior elementary education major Madison Csizmadia organized the event as part of the Bonner program. She reached out to the Rider community and volunteers were eager to get involved. She said she wanted to arrange the evening for the kids because they don’t usually get to do things like what she put together.
“I think that it’s showing them that there are positive role models out there,” said Csizmadia. “All of these people are here for them and I think it shows that they care and that will have a big impact on them. A lot of people take that for granted, that they had a support system.”
The kids played games such as the snowman ball toss and Christmas bingo. They also made elf hats, snowflakes, fake snow and marshmallow snowmen. The volunteers ensured that the kids had a great time.
“It was rewarding to be a part of something that could entertain and brighten their day,” said freshman healthcare management major Lauren Mee. “Their faces lit up at the energy.”
“It’s amazing,” said junior finance major Restituta Ikuzwe. “You can really feel the Christmas spirit.”