Lannan and Maxwell spread holiday cheer
Nationals pitcher John Lannan and outfielder Justin Maxwell got together at ESPN Zone on Saturday to spread some holiday cheer at the Fourth Annual Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington Holiday Party. The players handed out toys, signed autographs and played games with the 120 children who attended the party.
“One of the main reasons I stayed in the area [this offseason] was to be able to do more outside of the season when I have more time to spend with these kids and be in the community,” Lannan said. “This is my second year at the Boys & Girls Club Holiday Party and I’m having a lot of fun.”
Lannan and Maxwell passed out gifts to each child and the excitement was evident with each Barbie, Batman figurine, finger skateboard and My Ameoba handed out. The two then went from table to table signing autographs and posing for pictures with all the club members while the kids ate mini burgers, chicken fingers and pasta.
“The kids really enjoyed this party,” said Leah Lamb, who is the Chief Development Officer of B&GCGW. “Half of them can’t sleep the night before. It’s very exciting for all of us. It’s wonderful not only because it kicks off the season for our kids, but in some cases our kids don’t necessarily have the means–their parents don’t have the means to provide a Christmas for them. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to enjoy the holiday season.”
About an hour into the party “Screech” joined the fun and caused quite the ruckus. The kids were excited to see him and his bag of toys. “Screech” brought Build-A-Bear Screech toys for everyone in attendance.
After everyone had their fill of food, they all headed to the game room for an hour of air-hockey, bowling and racing, among other games to bring the joyous celebration to an end.
“The holidays are always a special time,” Maxwell said. “To see all the smiles on their faces—it means a lot to me. The DC-area is my home and has been for most of my life and I thank God for the opportunity to play here.”