Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Friday rang in the holidays with his annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Adams was joined by representatives from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and representatives from the sponsors of the tree lighting, which included CHC of Brooklyn Alumni Chapter, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International, One Brooklyn Fund, Ponce Bank, National Grid, Target and Thrivent.
All public health guidelines were observed during the tree lighting, including required face coverings for all participants and social distancing.
In the spirit of the holiday season, Adams said he will be distributing more than 800 pairs of pajamas and more than 2,500 books to children in shelters across the borough.
The funding for the pajamas and books came courtesy of the aforementioned sponsors of this year’s event.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shelters will be able to pick up the books and pajamas from Brooklyn Borough Hall.
“We gather this year amid an unprecedented holiday season, as our city and country continue to contend with intersecting public health, economic, and racial injustice crises,” Adams said.
“The lighting of the tree at Brooklyn Borough Hall, a tradition dating back to the beginning of my tenure as borough president, represents a hope for a brighter new year and a light at the end of this tunnel,” he added. “Throughout the unimaginable challenges we have faced throughout this turbulent year, we have remained united as ‘One Brooklyn’, looking out for one another, mourning our collective losses and performing everyday acts of heroism for our neighbors.
“I wish all Brooklynites a safe and restful holiday season,” Adams continued.
Target Director of Community Engagement and Volunteerism Kelly McGarrity said “Target is honored to be a long-time sponsor of the tree lighting and book/pajama distribution.
“More than ever is a new book to read is not only helping to promote literacy but also to enhance children’s imagination to what their future can hold,” McGarrity said. “This, along with a new pair of pajamas, can set the tone for a bedtime routine that helps children transition to sleep. Given all the challenges that we faced in 2020, sleep is not only essential for children, it is something of which we all could use more.”
“This year has brought both challenges and opportunities,” said Kameko Hasman, Esq. of CHC of Brooklyn Alumni Chapter, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International Renée. “We appreciate the opportunity to serve our community by partnering with Borough President Adams and supporting his investment in our youth. We can only imagine the exciting places the children will visit, curled up with these new books and cozy pajamas.”
Carlos Naudon, president and chief executive officer of Ponce Bank, said that “during these difficult times it’s especially important to bring holiday cheer and to uplift our struggling community.
“One Brooklyn Fund has shared happiness and warmed the hearts of many during this holiday season and Ponce Bank is proud and honored to help,” he said.
“The annual lighting of the Brooklyn Borough Hall holiday tree is especially important at the end of a very trying year, as a symbol of hope,” said National Grid Customer and Community Manager Renee McClure. “We will all be celebrating the holiday season differently, with our family and friends, but staying connected is what makes Brooklyn so special. We are proud to support those who are in need in our local communities.”
In what has been a challenging year, Thrivent Financial NYC Engagement Leader Kimberlee Clark said: “We are thrilled to be a part of helping to add a sparkle of light as we celebrate this season.
“Brooklyn is a special tapestry made of threads of many colors, cultures and beliefs,” she said. “It is with pride that we work with Borough President Adams to illuminate Borough Hall with a touch of help, hope, and optimism for the year ahead.”