Annual 5th District Christmas party unites police, second graders for holiday fun

Riley Fitzpatrick asks Santa for a puppy at the 5th District Police Station Annual Christmas party. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Riley Fitzpatrick asks Santa for a puppy at the 5th District Police Station Annual Christmas party. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philadelphia’s 5th Police District welcomed local students to its 45th annual Christmas party on Wednesday.

This year, 50 second-grade students from Immaculate Heart of Mary School on Cathedral Road in Roxborough were the recipients of the party.

Every holiday season a class is selected from a local elementary school to come to the Ridge Avenue station for an afternoon of food, fun and gifts.

Community Relations officer Charles Kline, 5th District officers, a live Mummers band and students joined together to sing carols, enjoy a magic show and eat pizza before Santa arrived on a fire truck.

“His reindeers are getting ready for Christmas, so we’re going to use a fire truck,” explained Kline.

Holiday wishes

Each child had a moment to relay their wishes to Santa. They also received two presents, one from Santa and one from the police station. This year’s gifts were backpacks, beads, stuffed animals, classic board games, sports equipment and art sets.

Seven-year-old Riley Fitzpatrick said she is hoping for a puppy, and Tristan Brady asked Santa for a surf board to take on trips to North Carolina. Both are looking forward to decorating Christmas trees with their families.

Kristen Hindley, a former teacher in the area said her son Ethan’s wish for a puppy already came true a month ago. She applauded the efforts of the 5th District officers. “They do so much for the community,” said Hindley.

A community effort

Kline has been in charge of the party for eight years and said it wouldn’t be possible without donations from the community.

“It really does come from the whole area and all the officers go through a lot of work too.” He added the event is something the officers look forward to throughout the year.

The station begins planning the event every September.

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