Christmas on the Hill Held at Bishop Rosecrans
ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Christmas Eve has arrived and as children
prepare for the arrival of Santa; students, athletes, and staff from
one local high school joined forces to make Christmas a little
brighter for area kids in need. This morning marked the 28th
Annual Christmas on the Hill, held at Bishop Rosecrans in Zanesville.
Over 100 children were presented with Christmas gifts purchased by
Rosecrans basketball players, cheerleaders, and students through
fundraising efforts and local donations. Todd Rock, Boys Basketball
Head Coach, says the program brings the entire community together to
help those in need.
“We started with
one family and about ten kids our first year; and now we’re up
about 125 kids and I don’t even know how many families. But, it
says a lot for our ex-players and cheerleaders—they come back.
They’ve been here since 6:30 this morning playing—my
ex-players—and it means a lot; they want to come back and be a part
of it. You know, we’ve raised an excess of 300 thousand dollars
through all the years for Christmas on the Hill. It’s just so
important for our players. You know, they’re off to a great start
but basketball is a game. It’s an important game—but it’s not
life and this is life for a lot of these kids; they wouldn’t get
anything for Christmas.”
As excited children
opened their Christmas gifts in the Rosecrans gymnasium, students
involved with the program looked on with a sense of appreciation and
a spirit of giving. Will Bernath, Senior basketball player, says the
reactions given by the children makes the program worthwhile.
“There’s a lot
of emotions going on, I think. They’re all really happy—it’s
very cool to see just how grateful they are and how much it means to
them, really and it means a lot to us too.”
Children in need
were identified through area agencies such as Help Me Grow and Head
Start as well as through direct nominations. Students and athletes
went shopping for the Christmas gifts together a few weeks ago.