WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nassau County honored dozens of deserving children Thursday.
Police officers dressed as superheroes and county officials handed out gift cards to 10 students at a “holiday heroes” event at Park Avenue Elementary School in Westbury.READ MORE: New York State Legislature Votes To Curb Gov. Cuomo's Emergency Powers
Along with a special police escort, the superheroes, including Captain America, Batman and Spider-Man, arrived in Westbury to help local officials spread holiday cheer to the deserving students.
“You guys are our heroes. You’re the ones that do it for us every day and make us come to work,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
The 10 students each received a gift card for $100.
“It feels great,” one fourth grader said.
“I feel awesome, I feel great, and thank you for all the superheroes that’s out there, the police,” an eighth grader said.
The annual Holiday Heroes giveaway was organized by the Nassau County Police Department and sponsored by the Nassau County Police Foundation.
“We’re here to help. It’s been a crazy year, 2020. Bring on 2021. Start it right here with the smiles you saw today,” Ryder said.
“When you look at some of these kids and you see their expressions and their reactions to the police officers and the superheroes, you truly see what policing and community policing is all about,” said Mario Doyle, with the Nassau County Police Foundation.READ MORE: Brooklyn Mom Wants NYC Apartments Inspected Annually After Parts Of Ceiling Crash Down On 12-Year-Old Son
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In addition to the 10 students who received the gift cards, 40 other students in the district will also receive gift cards. Organizers said the event was kept small because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“The kids deserve the best from all of us,” said Officer Tom Iannucci, who was dressed as Captain America.
Organizers said it was local principals who chose the students who would receive the gift cards based on financial need and overall school spirit.
Many of the children said they already knew how they would spend their money, and it’s not on themselves.
“You don’t plan to use it for yourself? How come?” CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon asked one student.
“Because my family don’t really have a lot of things,” he said.
“I’m going to use it on my family and three of my friends,” said fifth grader Jayla Humphrey.MORE NEWS: Immersive Public Art Installation Now On Display At Domino Park
The kids say they’re grateful officials chose them for these gifts. Now it’s their chance to share it with those they love.