The River Dell Football Players and Cheerleaders sponsored a toy drive this past fall to benefit kids at the Etta Gero #9 school in Passaic. This was the fourth year in a row that the football squad has held the toy drive.
The event began when former Golden Hawk Derek Rodriguez (Class of '11) was a sophomore, after his mother Rosa Rodriguez told her students about the Golden Hawks accomplishments, both on and off the gridiron. The youngsters at School 9, which serves students from grades 3-6, also watched highlight clips as the Hawks took on league rivals.
From that point, the students looked forward to seeing the clips of the team and were in for a surprise when the 2008 Hawks' football seniors arrived with gifts in hand for each of the six third grade classes.
Each year Santa Claus is portrayed by a senior Golden Hawk and this year lineman Gary Lanzendoen received that honor. He and the other senior members of the team delivered the toys to 135 children on Dec. 22.