Gooden Brings Holiday Joy to Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club

Photo credit: Rich Mancuso

Photo credit: Rich Mancuso

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

Dwight “Doc” Gooden came to town Tuesday afternoon and distributed toys and joy to youngsters at the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Christmas party for kids in the Castle section of the Bronx.

The former  Cy Young Award pitcher for the Mets and Yankees distributed toys to 500 youngsters from homeless shelters in the Bronx and to members of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.

“We are providing a holiday experience for youngsters who may otherwise not have it,” said Danny Quintero Executive Director of Kips Bay. “For kids from single parent homes we are filling an amazing void in their lives.”

This was the tenth year that Quintero hosted the annual party for kids that included lunch, magic acts, a visit of gift-giving from Gooden and, of course, a visit from Santa.

Photo credit: Rich Mancuso

Photo credit: Rich Mancuso

Quintero, Executive Director of the Kips Bay Castle Hill clubhouse for the past 20-years, once again had volunteers pitch in from the design industry to assist with gifts and entertainment. He’s able to continue his traditional event with support from the New York Yankees, Ray Negron, Hanks Yanks, and Alfred Zacagnino, an local entrepreneur.

“Ten years ago I remember when I came back to the Yankees, I was sitting with Mr. Steinbrenner and Tony Bruno, head of Yankee Global, and The Boss said ever since you been a little boy you like doing these things,” Negron recalled.

“I [replied], if it weren’t for you I would never have a chance to give back and he said to me ‘I want you to always do this for me.’ I promised him that I always would and I am  happy that Tony was there and Doc.”

Gooden said, “I love kids. What good is a life if you don’t have an impact on another life. These kids are trying. Give them a chance. They want it.”

The efforts of Gooden, Negron, Zacagnino, Quintero and the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club gave every youngster a chance at happiness during this holiday season.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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