The event, which took place on Friday morning, brought smiles to the kids’ faces, who enjoyed outdoor activities such as horse riding and learning about NYPD robots.
At the end, Santa Claus paid the children a visit and gave them parting gifts.
“It’s all about the children and the families that lost their parents in the line of duty,” said Danny Pyle, owner of the restaurant and son-in-law of the late George O’Neill, who first hosted the event four decades ago. “Just to give back to them for everything they sacrifice.”
Pyle said in the 25 years he has been with O’Neill’s, they have been hosting this event, except for the few years the Maspeth eatery was rebuilding after a fire.
“We always want to be part of the neighborhood,” he said, “opening up O’Neill’s for them and treating them like family.”
Pyle said he wants to continue the tradition into the future.
“We hope we do it for another hundred years,” he said.