Miami Dolphins players Walt Aikens, John Denney, Jamil Douglas, Jason Fox, Shamiel Gary, Mike Hull, Tony Lippett, Ryan Tannehill, Olivier Vernon and Zach Vigil, cheerleaders, Miami Dolphins Women’s Organization (MDWO) members and mascot T.D. welcomed 125 preselected kids from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county partner schools ages 5-18 to this holiday event.
“It’s a blessing to be in this position and to have an impact. To be able to come out today and spend some time with these kids, hand out some gifts and enjoy a dance contest and some time with them is great,” Tannehill said. “Going through the things that you go through on the football field, you lose sight of some things in life. So to be able to take a step back and realize what’s important – to be able to share time and the true spirit of the holidays with these kids, it really put things in perspective.”
The students from Caribbean K-8 Center, Fairlawn Elementary, Atlantic West Elementary, Crescent Park Elementary and Pine Grove Elementary schools enjoyed face painting, bounce houses, played football and corn hole, wrote letters to Santa and stuffed stockings full of crayons, coloring books, ornaments, necklaces, yo-yos and rollabannas.
Eric Rocha, a fourth grader from Fairlawn Elementary was reveling in his Star Wars Storm Trooper: “Today was amazing. I am a big fan of the Miami Dolphins. It was epic to meet the players today, I even got some signatures.”
The evening concluded with dinner from Papa John’s Pizza and opening presents. Each kid provided a toy wish list with items they would like for the holiday. Players collaborated together to fund and provide the toys given.