N.Y. (Dec. 22, 2010) - The Hofstra men's lacrosse team helped spread some
holiday cheer recently as volunteers for the Holiday Magic of Long Island
program for the underprivileged.
The Christmas Magic program manages to sprinkle Magic into the lives of more than 5,000 of Long Island's less fortunate children living in homeless shelters, temporary foster care, Child Protective Services, sober houses, teen mother homes, and domestic violence safe-houses every year.
The Pride, which made two volunteer visits, wrapped approximately 1,600 presents on December 7 and returned on December 11 as Santa's "elves" to present gifts to children at St. Philip and James Church in Smithtown, New York. Senior defender Michael Skudin organized the Pride's gift wrappers while junior Brad Loizeaux organized Santa's elves and special helpers of the Snowman and Christmas Bear.
"It is really gratifying to see the looks on the faces of the kids when they saw Santa and the presents," Loizeaux said. "It really felt great to be able to give back and help those who are less fortunate, especially during the holiday season."
brainchild of Hauppauge attorney Charlie Russo, still one of several Santa
Clauses that fulfill dreams all over Long Island, Christmas Magic is a
not-for-profit organization begun in 1990 to provide holiday generosity and
spirit to those less fortunate. What started originally back in 1985 as a
small, private gesture, has evolved into a highly spirited program involving
the generosity of men, women & children from all over Long Island. It is
now a seasonal event which all who are involved with our program look forward
to. However, the goal each year is to bring the heartfelt spirit of giving to
Long Island all year long, not just around the holidays.
Skudin, along with his teammates, has been a volunteer for many of Russo's year-round charity events over the past three years."My teammates and I are tremendously honored to be part of Christmas Magic as well as the other charitable endeavors for the homeless and less fortunate that Mr. Russo is involved in," Skudin said. "As student-athletes, we receive the benefits of work by our families, coaches and University. Being involved with Christmas Magic and the Coalition for the Homeless reminds us that not everyone is as fortunate and we should all band together to help in whatever way we can, not only during the holidays but throughout the year."