Two icons, two legendary characters, two men who spread universal happiness everywhere they go. One was Derek Jeter, figurehead of the Turn 2 Foundation and former member of the New York Yankees who had come to surprise hundreds of local children on this evening. But as emblematic as the baseball superstar’s status, this particular audience could only half focus on Jeter considering the presence of his bearded and red suit-wearing teammate for the night; Santa Clause.
Jeter, along with high school students from his Jeter’s Leaders program, and of course Santa handed out gifts on Monday to celebrate the foundation’s annual Holiday Express event. Among the gift recipients were members of the Turn 2 Foundation’s afterschool programs throughout New York City, each of whom left with a special gift bag after being treated to a private screening of the movie Annie.
“This is something that as a family we’re extremely proud of,” said Jeter of his foundation and this event in particular. “This is a time for us to reward [the kids] for all the hard work they’ve done throughout the year.
We enjoy the holiday season, and getting an opportunity to see the kids and give them some gifts… We just want them to have fun, that’s what the holiday season is all about.”
Sharlee Jeter is Derek’s sister as well as the President of the Turn 2 Foundation, and as she emphasized the importance of events like this she also reiterated that each member of her family and of the foundation takes pride in their roles serving communities.
“Giving back is something that we not only take very seriously but we hope that our kids see how important it is to do it in the future,” Sharlee said. “For us to work together as a family for something that’s this important, there’s no room for failure and there’s no room for doing it half way – it’s so important what we’re doing for young people.”