As part of the club’s Season of Giving efforts, the Atlanta Hawks, along with their partner State Farm, Wednesday gifted 150 boys and girls, ages 8-12, a “Holiday Hangout” experience that they will not soon forget. The youth were treated to holiday dinner and one-of-a-kind holiday celebration inside the all-new home of the Hawks at State Farm Arena.
Almost the entire Hawks roster and coaches, Hawks staff and State Farm employees manned the event while the team’s holiday mascot Santa Harry (the Hawk), the Hawks ATL Dancers squad, ATL BOOM drumline, and other members of Hawks Entertainment umbrella kicked off the program with a special performance. Rapper, Activist and SWAG Shop Owner Killer Mike surprised the kids in attendance and presented with them gifts as they made their way into the arena.
“The Hawks are honored to meaningfully engage with Atlanta’s youth through hands-on service,” said Hawks’ Vice President of Community and Inclusion Andrea Carter. “It is equally rewarding to work alongside our players, coaches, and partners at State Farm to create memorable experiences for our community that will change the trajectory of the lives of future generations.”
Hawks’ players led a variety of activity stations that were set up throughout the arena including STEM activities involving circuitry, themed photo booths, basketball drills on the arena’s main court, holiday ornament decoration, gift “shopping” for Hawks gear and apparel. Hawks’ head coach Lloyd Pierce, along with rookies Trae Young and Omari Spelling and team vets Kent Bazemore, Jeremy Lin, Taurean Prince, Vince Carter and more assisted the kids at each of the various interactive stops. Members of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Basketball Retired Players Association also participated and contributed toys for the event.
Prior to the start of the 2018-19 season, the Hawks committed to making a positive impact on 50,000 lives through 50 acts of service in honor of their 50th year in Atlanta. Throughout the club’s Season of Giving events, the Hawks have already touched more than 20,000 lives. Youth in attendance were chosen from Atlanta-based organizations including Atlanta Parks & Recreation, La Amistad, Future Foundation, My Sister’s House and the Center for Pan Asian Community Services.