On Wednesday, December 8, 2010, more than 75 employees of the FBI New York Office joined with hundreds of volunteers from other government and city agencies, members of the armed forces, civic organizations, FBI explorers, and many more to transform an airport hangar at JFK airport into a festive holiday party in celebration of Operation Santa; an annual holiday event hosted by the Community Mayors of New York.
Chief Community Mayor Shelly Della Rocca kicked off the event. Over 50 years ago, Della Rocca’s father and former Executive Chief Mayor Dominick Della Rocca made it his mission to enhance the lives of special needs children by developing a number of special events for them. Operation Santa was one of his ideas and its spirit has lived on through the years.
Volunteers arrived hours before teachers escorted special needs students into the hangar filled with balloons, clowns, and live music. Children were presented with gift bags and enjoyed entertainment by Ronald McDonald and many others who dressed in a wide variety of costumes as they paraded through the hangar for the morning’s event. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade floats lined the perimeter, while high school marching bands from the five boroughs of
joined in the fun. New York
The excitement began to build as the hangar doors opened to see Santa arriving on a Delta Air Lines jet. He exited the jet with Mrs. Claus by his side and proceeded to a trolley, which they used to drive around and greet the excited children. Before leaving, Santa and Mrs. Claus joined other volunteers on stage to greet the crowd and sing a few Christmas songs.
The FBI New York’s JFK Resident Agency hosted the event for all of the FBI New York volunteers. Assistant Special Agents in Charge (ASAC) Lauren Anderson and Thomas Nicpon expressed their enthusiasm to be a part of this occasion. “Operation Santa draws hundreds of volunteers year after year who pull together to make this a truly remarkable occasion,” said ASAC Anderson. “The excitement of the children as they wait for Santa to arrive lifts the spirits of everyone participating in this wonderful event,” added ASAC Nicpon.
The Community Mayors of New York are dedicated to making every one of their annual outings memorable for the special kids they serve.