Kids get visit from Santa, presents at Queens Centers for Progress

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THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes
THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Children at the Queens Center for Progress got a visit from Santa and received bundles of toys.

Santa and Frosty the Snowman paid a visit to the children at the Queens Centers for Progress (QCP), bringing holiday cheer with them once more.

Now in its 16th year, QCP has partnered with the Jamaica Rotary Club to give toys to kids at the children’s center. NYPD Community Affairs officers from the Queens south division joined in as well.

The children, who have cerebral palsy or another type of developmental disability, excitedly accepted stuffed animals, dolls and trucks from Rotary Club president Joe Iaboni, dressed as Santa, and his trusty sidekick Frosty.

“It’s a good feeling for the holidays,” Iaboni said. “We can fight crime, but also make kids happy and smile.”

Maureen Lovetro, a Rotary Club member with cerebral palsy, dressed up her dog companion, Drake, as Santa to give the kids a little extra Christmas cheer.

“Because I have a disability, I feel like I was one of those kids, and a lot of people helped me out.” she said, “I have a true appreciation and respect for them.”

Nancy Glass, QCP Children’s Center Director, said having the Jamaica Rotary back again for the toy distribution is “like having family coming back to visit and helping us celebrate.”

Iaboni, donned in a red suit and white beard, said it’s about “companionship” and letting the children know they and the police officers are there.

“We can show them there’s somebody to protect them,” he said.