JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 2, 2014) – A long-running ETSU Athletics tradition helped spread holiday cheer to local children Tuesday evening.
As part of the 14th annual “A Buccaneer Christmas” hosted inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center, around 70 children from two Johnson City Coalition for Kids sites—Southside and Fairmont elementary schools—were treated to a special night including activities such as meeting Santa Claus, opening gifts, mingling with ETSU student-athletes, and enjoying snacks and drinks.
“The kids really enjoy coming and spending time with the student-athletes, getting to see Santa, and receiving the treats that you all graciously provide,” Coalition for Kids Director of Operations Amanda Beattie said. “It’s a good time had by all.”
More than 130 ETSU student-athletes took part in the event, representing the department’s Football, Baseball, and Spirit teams.
“Giving back to the community, especially to the youth of the community, is very important to our department and is something we emphasize to our student-athletes,” Head Baseball Coach Tony Skole said. “If you look around, a lot of our student-athletes are having even more fun than the kids. It makes for a very heartwarming night.”
Refreshments, such as cookies, pizza, and chips were provided to all children in attendance, in addition to toys donated by local businessman Clarence Mabe, the owner of S&M Amusements, Inc.
“Anything you can do to uplift somebody at Christmas who doesn’t have as much others is just a good thing,” Director of Football Operations Lee Morrow said. “Tonight is all about the kids.”