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by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

By Kenny Ayres Contributor

Last Friday, the Flyers Alumni Association helped to spread holiday cheer in Chester with a sizable donation to City Team Ministries to be used for holiday dinners and gifts for families in need.

The $2,000 donation was presented to City Team, a non-denominational, national, Christian faith based service organization, at their Chester location by former Flyers Don Saleski and Jim Watson. The money helped to purchase dozens of children’s bicycles as well as other various gifts and holiday meals for the surrounding community.

“I was amazed to witness over 2,000 huge bags full of gifts being prepared for kids in Chester,” said Saleski, who is on the alumni association’s executive board. “The gifts combined with food provide these families with a Christmas dinner celebration – it is very inspirational.”

The donation was certainly welcomed by City Team, which is in the midst of its busiest time of year when the most people need its services.

“We certainly appreciate the donation,” said City Team’s Judy Reptew. “We signed up over 800 families that got meals, so all of them appreciate it [as well] because they wouldn’t have had them otherwise.”

We are truly grateful for the Flyer’s alumni association for picking City Team as their charity of choice,” added Macaira Koch, part of the development team at City Team. “We are privileged that they supported this Christmas drive that [in turn] supported 2800 children with Christmas toys delivered to their home.”

As much joy as City Team and the people of Chester got out of the donation, the Flyers alumni got just as much joy in helping out.

“It’s always a gift to be in a position which enables us to give back to the needy in our community,” Saleski said. “It’s great to be associated with the Flyers Alumni organization that is committed to supporting philanthropic endeavors within the Philadelphia community.

In addition to providing holiday gifts and meals for financially burdened families, City Team provides a myriad of other services to the community as well, such as homeless shelter, second chance programs, substance abuse recovery programs, mother and baby care, and employment services. They also have family services that provide furniture to those who cannot afford it, and food services that deliver staple foods to those whose income makes it difficult at times to put food on the table.

It is all of these services City Team provides to the community that caused the alumni association to be a benefactor.

“It’s the good they do, its what they do they do to for the community, [it’s] their mission,” Saleski said. “That’s what struck us the most.”

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