DETROIT — The Tigers checked off the bulk of their offseason shopping list just a few days ago. On Sunday, they did their part to help local families do the same for the holidays.
The Tigers teamed up with their neighbors, the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, to host the Hometown Holiday Assist, providing nearly 100 families with a helping hand along with some holiday cheer.
The Tigers have made it a tradition to provide a holiday experience for families in need. Over the years, front-office employees, broadcasters and players such as Torii Hunter and Niko Goodrum contributed to provide holiday festivities, dinners and shopping sprees. This year’s event continued the tradition with a twist, turning nearby Fox Theatre into a holiday party as former Tigers slugger and current Bally Sports Detroit analyst Craig Monroe graciously hosted nearly 100 children and their families.
“This is awesome for me, especially my first year being here in Detroit in the offseason,” said Monroe, who recently moved to Michigan with his family to make Michigan their year-round home. “Moving the family here, now I’m getting a chance to be out and be a part of this community.”
The kids were selected from the nearby Clark Park Coalition’s youth baseball, softball and hockey programs, as well as Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development. They arrived downtown on Sunday morning to find the Fox Theatre lobby open for holiday crafts such as sand art, face painting and balloon animals. Tigers mascot PAWS joined in the fun along with, of course, Santa Claus, as Christmas music echoed through the historic venue.
The festivities preceded a holiday brunch and an invitation from 313 Presents to the Cirque Dreams Holidaze show in the afternoon.
Children received toys and other presents as well as gift cards for their families for food and other necessities, courtesy of the Tigers and Red Wings organizations, their players, alumni and front-office members. Toys are also being donated to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Total donations topped $30,000.