Entries in Santa (3)


New York Knicks Player Amare Stoudemire Plays ‘Santa’

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- He’s the shot blocking, ball dunking player with the New York Knicks.

But this season, Amare Stoudemire is also doubling as a secret Santa.

For the Crowder family, Stoudemire’s surprise knock on their door is just what they needed this Christmas.

When mom Sharell fell ill earlier this year, dad David had to cut back hours as a security guard to be home more with the kids.

“It’s my first time trying to take care of a household, it’s been a real challenge,” David Crowder said.

Making ends meet has been difficult and putting presents under the tree this year for 5-year-old David and 4-year-old Tymir just isn’t possible.

That’s where the Garden of Dreams Foundation comes in.

The foundation pairs up nine Knicks players each with a deserving family to go on an all expense paid shopping spree at Target.

“Amare came in today and showed them that we really do care. And it wasn’t just with the gifts, it was the personal time he spent,” said Michael Roberts, deputy and division director with the Children’s Aid Society.

The experience meant a new start for the Crowder family.

“It means I can get started on a new life,” Sharell said.

The total bill for the Crowder family added up to nearly $5,500 – which was paid for by the Garden of Dreams Foundation and out of Stoudemire’s own pocket.

For Stoudemire, it meant being able to give back to the community that’s close to his upbringing and close to his heart.

“To be part of this is very special,” Stoudemire said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Atheist Group: Nativity Scene Is a ‘Superstition,’ But Santa Can Stay

Jupiterimages/, Texas) -- The Freedom From Religion Foundation has taken offense with a nativity scene displayed outside a courthouse in downtown Athens, Texas.

The Keep Athens Beautiful Committee has been putting up the nativity scene since 2002, and County Judge Richard Sanders says it’s not violating any law, according to ABC News affiliate KBMT.

“Because we have all the other decorations, it’s legal,” Sanders said. “Our county attorney has looked into it.”

A Henderson County resident complained to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based atheist group, and the foundation notified the committee that the nativity scene was in violation of federal law. The foundation asked for the baby Jesus to be removed, or for a sign to be put up next to his crib that would read: “At this season of the winter solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

But while some believe Santa is “but myth and superstition,” no one has asked for a sign to be placed next to him, clarifying his non-existence. The town has several other seasonal decorations up, such as reindeer, garden gnomes and snowmen, but the nativity scene is the only decoration that has been criticized as a religious symbol. As for Santa, he’s more of a tradition than a religious icon, so the foundation has not taken issue with him.

Henderson County Commissioner Joe Hall says he’ll fight to keep the nativity scene in place.

“Don’t come down here and tell me there is no God. This nation is a Christian nation regardless of what those fruit loops and fruitcakes in Washington D.C. say. Hell will freeze over before I vote to have it removed,” Hall said.

Pastor Nathan Lorick of First Baptist Church in Malakoff, about 10 miles from Athens, said it was time to stand up and speak up in defense of Christianity, which is the majority in Athens.

“I hope this is a platform all across the nation that says, let’s take America back,” he said.

Multiple U.S. Supreme Court cases have dealt with similar controversies. Most recently, in 2010, in the midst of the Christmas tree vs. holiday bush debate, Salazar v. Buono, the justices ruled that a cross to honor veterans placed in 1934 on a rock located in a national park in southeastern California could remain in place.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


First Lady Helps Kids Track Santa

Photo Courtesy - WireImage/Getty Images(KAILUA, Hawaii) -- First lady Michelle Obama spent more than 40 minutes on the phone with children Friday, aiding NORAD in answering Christmas Eve queries from kids as to where Santa is, and how soon he will be at their home.

"You know that Santa only comes after boys and girls have gone to sleep, no matter where he is in the world," Mrs. Obama said to each of the children callers, "so Santa won't be at your house until you’re fast asleep, okay?"

While Mrs. Obama was on the phone, according to her readout of the NORAD radar, Santa spanned several parts of Africa and into Europe.

"The radar shows that it looks like the vehicle is being pulled by all nine reindeer and it’s pretty full of toys," Mrs. Obama assured the children.

The first lady asked the children callers if they had been good this year, to which all of them answered affirmatively.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio