ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure University softball team hosted its ninth annual Christmas Gift Packing Party on Dec. 3 to help those in need this Christmas season.
In addition to the SBU softball team, student-athletes from every team on campus participated in the donation. Members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Love Your Melon Club and University Ministries also joined together to wrap over 140 gifts, the most ever donated in the event's history.
The Bonnies asked for members of the community to bring items for boys and girls ages 2-14. Gifts such as puzzles, crayons, coloring books, stuffed animals and other necessities were collected and wrapped. Donators were also asked to include a joyful Christmas message to the recipient.
Gifts were sent to organizations including Brian Moorman's PUNT Organization, Stone's Buddies and Dom Rebyonka (Baby Home) in Karachev, Russia, the orphanage from which Bona softball freshman Grace Perechinsky was adopted when she was a child. Gifts were sent to three local churches in the Olean area as well.
The event has stayed in the St. Bonaventure softball family for its entire history. It was founded by softball alum Kristin Sullivan and aided by Bona Athletes for Christ (now known as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes) co-founded four years ago by softball alum Grace Rooney. This year, junior Nicole Antonacci and senior Josie Borysevicz organized the event.
"We reached out to athletic teams for numbers but extended the project to the whole campus and other clubs," Antonacci said.
"We are very blessed with what we have," Bonnies head coach Mike Threehouse said. "Any time we get an opportunity to give back to the community and children especially, we look forward to those times. We are excited and blessed to do this for other people during the holiday season."