Before settling in to their own holiday festivities on Christmas Day, several of members of the GraVoc team joined forces with other volunteers from Santa’s Magic to visit with patients and deliver gifts at hospitals in the Boston area. This marks the second year that GraVoc has participated in the program, which was founded by Jim Nentwig in 1982 as a way to bring the holiday spirit to his wife as she was in the hospital battling cancer. Although Elizabeth Nentwig lost her battle with cancer shortly after that Christmas, Jim and his sons continued the tradition in her honor, and they have since expanded the Santa’s Magic program into a successful non-profit organization that provides hundreds of patients with gifts, flowers, and visits from Santa.
Brian Gravel, GraVoc’s Director of Media Production, got GraVoc involved with Santa’s Magic last year and carried on the tradition this year, along with his fiancée Bridget Carvill. He was joined by Dave Gravel, who donned the Santa suit, as well as Cathy Gravel and Sarah Gravel. Family friends Jeannie Hallinan and Paul Johnson also participated. The group spent the morning at the Boston VA Hospital, and the volunteers are quick to note the emotional effect of the morning on everyone involved.
“We think of Christmas as a time of giving and I am sure that many would say that the Santa’s Magic team gave of their time for a great cause,” says Dave Gravel. “In reality we all received the greatest gift of all from the veterans we saw on Christmas day. They gave us the gift of joy through their smile, their hugs and the tears of appreciation for the simple time that we spent with them – no better gift can ever be received.”
For more information about Santa’s Magic or to find out how you can get involved, please visit www.santasmagic.org.