NEWARK, N.J. - Over 150 youngsters in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark After School Program at First Avenue School found out that a group of Seton Hall University athletes have a secret talent that they don't use on the basketball court, the baseball field, the soccer field, the running track or any other competitive site.
The Pirate athletes showed the youngsters they can carry a tune and are pretty good "singers".
The group of 30 athletes joined by coaches and administrators serenaded kindergarten students plus first and second graders with renditions of Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman at a holiday visit to the school. The athletes' singing capped off a visit that included a special gift bag of goodies and some extra tutoring help by the athletes.
"I can't thank Seton Hall enough," said Cynthia Banks, who coordinates operations for the Boys and Girls Clubs. "These kids just loved the personal interaction with the students. And, of course, the singing really gave us the holiday spirit. All I can say is a sincere "thank you" to all the athletes and coaches who took time out of their day to bring smiles to our youngsters".
Seton Hall senior basketball center John Garcia was happy to make the visit with his fellow athletes.
"These kids really enjoyed our visit," explained Garcia. "It's a great feeling to spread the happiness of the holidays and to give back."
The Seton Hall Athletics Department has made a special commitment to the Boys and Girls Club of Newark over the past decade. Thousand of youngsters have been invited to be the Pirates guests at both men's and women's basketball games along with a number of special educational programs.
"We have received great support from our athletes and coaches in the community down through the years," said Jamison Hannigan, Seton Hall's Assistant Athletics Director who has managed the various programs to support the Boys and Girls Clubs. "Joe Quinlan and the entire University have a commitment to the City of Newark and this is just one little way for all of us to give back."