The Seton Hall Athletic Department gave its annual "assist" to former Pirate basketball star Jerry Walker and his charity - Team Walker - during the Christmas Holiday.
"I personally want to thank all the fans and the athletic department for the generous support of our annual party," said Jerry, who led the Pirates to three NCAA appearances during his playing time. "This really brightens up the holiday for the kids. It's the great community spirit of Seton Hall that has helped many, many youngsters through the years. I feel very blessed to be part of the Seton Hall Family."
The youngsters had a three-hour party that included special face painting, games, cookie icing and plenty of music by another former Pirate player, Luther Wright. Team Walker received help from Pirate alumni Jim O'Brien, Steve Kuchen, and Leo Zatta. Bob Fetterly also made his annual contribution of hundreds of hoodies for all of the youngsters. And, of course, the Pirate mascot made a special appearance dressed up in his Santa Claus outfit for the party.
The annual party is a small part of the work by Team Walker. The non-profit organization has an expanded after-school program that was awarded a $1.5 million grant for three years this past September as the organization awaits the completion of the Team Walker Learning Center that will open in September, 2013.
"I love having the big party for the kids,"explained Jerry. "But I also know that education is the key factor in life and I want to help these kids so I know how important our after school program can be for them."
Close to 200 gifts were donated at two men's basketball games at the Prudential Center during the month of December and given to deserving youngsters from Jersey City. The annual Team Walker Holiday Party had a crowd of over 350 boys and girls that loved the toys and books donated by the fans.