The holiday feeling was in the air on Tuesday night as Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach hosted the eighth annual Holiday Helpers event at the Target in Pikesville, Maryland.
The hard-hitting Leach, known for his toughness on the football field, showed his kinder and gentler side off the field. Vonta, along with numerous teammates including Ray Rice, LaQuan Williams, Bobbie Williams, Bryan Hall, Jameel McClain, Terrence Cody and Billy Bajema, served as personal shoppers for the 60 kids in attendance.
“I do this event every year in North Carolina for seven years straight now and wanted to help here in Baltimore as well. The Ravens have been doing this event before I got here and I wanted to be a part of it.” Leach stated when asked about his involvement.
Prior to each child receiving $200.00 to spend on anything in the store that was suitable to their chaperones, they were given a pizza party donated by Papa Johns and a visit by the Ravens mascot Poe.
Everyone got in on the action including the Ravens cheerleaders. Laughter and smiles filled the store as the players got just as excited as the kids. Ravens defensive end Bryan Hall did his best spiderman impersonation as he found a costume mask and put it on.
“This is a awesome night.” Hall bellowed as he laughed with the kids.
“You all can help me do my Christmas shopping to while we are here.” exclaimed a smiling Rice to the kids as they pushed their carts for aisle to aisle.
This holiday season will not be one to forget for each and every person that was there on Tuesday night.
“Waking up with a gift under the tree is one of the most important things and I never want a kid to wake up without one.” Leach responded when asked about how tonight impacted the kids.
Thanks to Leach and the Ravens organization that will be possible for the ones that were here tonight. I even caught myself humming holiday carols as I left the store and walked to my car.