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109th Pct. Christmas party draws many merrymakers

Flushing’s 109th Precinct provided food, holiday gifts and a visit from Santa Claus for 130 children and their families from the community at PS 20 last weekend during its second-annual Christmas party.

Detective Kevin O’Donnell, the precinct’s community affairs officer, said more families turned out for the party, which ran from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, this year due to the struggling economy.

“We invited some families from the community who we knew would have a hard time at Christmas this year,” O’Donnell said. “We thought we’d give them a nice afternoon.”

The precinct, which coordinated the event with the Flushing Chinese Business Association, provided Italian food and pizza as well as Chinese food from neighborhood restaurants to 130 children and gave them a variety of gifts, such as board games, dolls, electronics, footballs and makeup kits.

O’Donnell said last year’s holiday party drew 50 children.

The children were also visited by Santa Claus and Cuddles the Clown in the cafeteria of PS 20, at 142-30 Barclay Ave. in Flushing, during the party.

City Councilman-elect Peter Koo and Timothy Chuang, of the Flushing Chinese Business Association, who served Chinese food at the party, said the event was an opportunity to help “disadvantaged children.”

“It’s a good idea to provide help to low-income people,” Chuang said. “We want to have a bigger party next year.”

A group of children sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” as they had their photos taken with Santa during the festive party. Mother Angelica Mazariegos, of Flushing, said she and her family appreciated the food and gifts from the precinct.

“It’s good for the kids,” she said. “They are having fun. It brings the spirit of the holidays to families who do not have the financial situation to have presents for their kids. The economy’s been bad.”

The 109th Precinct is at 37-05 Union St. in Flushing.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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