St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside announced two feel-good holiday events for patients and their families this weekend.
On Friday, Dec. 13, local NYPD officers return to St. Mary’s for their seventh-annual Christmas visit. Officers from all five boroughs, along with the NYPD K9 Unit and a cast of costumed characters, will spread holiday cheer to children with a slate of festive activities.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., children and their families can participate in caroling, arts and crafts and memorable photo-ops. Just outside the hospital, an NYPD helicopter will perform an exciting aerial flyover while Santa Claus comes to town for a special visit.
NYPD Detectives and married couple Terry and Bernice Brienza created this event in 2013 as a way of making the holidays brighter for children who were “stuck inside.” The Brienzas and other officers reached out to several area hospitals including St. Mary’s.
“St. Mary’s was very opened to the idea of us coming down here and that was it. We came down, got amazing feedback from both the hospital and the cops that participated,” said Terry Brienza.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, from 5 to 8 p.m., St. Mary’s will host its first-ever holiday festival, open to patients and the Bayside community. Proceeds from the family-friendly event will go toward St. Mary’s, which provides high-quality care to children with complex and chronic medical issues, regardless of a family’s financial situation.
Attendees at Saturday’s event will get to meet Santa, experience festive light displays and enjoy arts and crafts. Participants can also get their faces painted, sip on some hot chocolate and step into a photo booth to capture the holiday memories.
Tickets are $10 per person and $25 per family (up to five people.) Admission for children ages three and under is free. Each ticket is good for a free cup of hot chocolate and kids receive a free gift while supplies last.
Those interested in attending can pay at the event in cash or check only.
For more information, visit www.stmaryskids.org.