More than 400 young people who receive services from one of a dozen programs within Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia gathered for the 56th annual Archbishop’s Christmas Benefit for Children Dec. 18 at the Sheraton Center city Hotel in Philadelphia.
(Read CatholicPhily.com’s full coverage of the party.)
They represent approximately 16,000 children across the Delaware Valley who benefited from residential and community-based programs offered by CSS this year, including children with disabilities, at-risk children, and dependent or court-adjudicated youth.
Nearly 200 archdiocesan high school students participated in this year’s celebration by greeting the children, serving as Santa’s elves, and providing entertainment and music.
The benefit began with a parade and concluded with an appearance from Santa Claus to give out presents. Philadelphia Eagles players Colt Anderson, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Boykin and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie along with cheerleaders and their mascot, Swoop, joined in the festivities.
More than just a one-time party for a few hundred children, the Archbishop’s Christmas Benefit for Children raises funds to support programs of Catholic Social Services that daily serve children throughout the year.
Catholic Social Services assists more than 162,000 children, adults and families of all faiths throughout the five-county area of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. (Photos by Sarah Webb)
Eagles cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Brandon Boykin pose for a photo with students from St. Lucy School for the Visually Impaired.
A group of ladies are all smiles as they pose with the Eagles mascot Swoop.
Mark from Saint Veronica’s Out of School Time Program is beaming with joy as he meets Santa Claus.
Eagles cornerback Curtis Marsh (left) and safety Colt Anderson help children open gifts they received from Santa Claus at the Archbishop’s Christmas Benefit for Children.
Eagles cornerback Curtis Marsh helps a child put together and play with his new Christmas present.
Eagles players Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, Colt Anderson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie along with cheerleaders Marissa, Courtney, Chelsey and Amanda Rose and their mascot Swoop pose for a photo with a group of happy kids at the Archbishop’s Christmas Benefit for Children.
Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie chats with a resident from St. Edmond’s Home for Children.
Children are greeted by aisles of cheerleaders as they enter the Christmas party.
Children are all smiles as they get a chance to dance with the Phillie Phanatic.
Jacki Delaney, chair of the Archbishop’s Christmas Benefit for Children, helps Victor put stickers on his placemat.
A little boy from Mary Mother of Peace Out of School Time Program is super excited to show Bishop John McIntyre his glow stick that he gets to wave around during the entertainment portion of the party.
Bishop John McIntyre greets a resident from St. Edmond’s Home for Children.
Bishop John McIntyre posed for a photo with students from West Catholic High School which were among over 200 students from the archdiocese that volunteered to help with the event.
Bishop John McIntyre applauds members of the committee that put in many hours and hard work for the benefit.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse lead the parade including a Catholic high school band at the party for more than 400 children.
Children get hive fives from Scooby Doo as Archbishop Wood’s band provides music.
Students from Archbishop Ryan School for the Deaf and St. Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairments perform a play of Christ’s birth.
Bishop John McIntyre helps Tanairis from Casa Del Carmen unwrap a doll that she received as a present at the annual Archbishop’s Christmas Benefit for Children Dec.18. (Photos by Sarah Webb)
Faith and Giana from Casa Del Carmen excitedly unwrap their presents from Santa Claus.