From left, Warden Charles Ellis; Officer Donald Ryland, PBA President; Officer Brian Waters; Lt. Marvin James, President of SOA; Tangela Wright; Officer Craig Wrenn (Santa); Lt. Phyllis Oliver; Sgt. Farah Fioravanti; and Investigator James Chianese. Full size photo

From left, Warden Charles Ellis; Officer Donald Ryland, PBA President; Officer Brian Waters; Lt. Marvin James, President of SOA; Tangela Wright; Officer Craig Wrenn (Santa); Lt. Phyllis Oliver; Sgt. Farah Fioravanti; and Investigator James Chianese.

CONTACT: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J.
- Santa Claus made a quick stop at the Mercer County Administration Building Dec. 22 to collect a few more gifts from County Executive Brian M. Hughes for Santa’s delivery to local organizations that serve needy children. Hundreds of gifts were collected by correction officers and civilian employees at the Mercer County Correction Center, where personnel conducted their annual toy drive led by the PBA and Superior Officers Association.

Well-wishers throughout Mercer County waved to Santa, who traveled by limousine, along with a convoy of officers who served as elves as they made their way from the Correction Center in Hopewell Township, along Route 29 South to Trenton and then to their final destinations. Hughes expressed his thanks to the many Correction Center workers who donated hundreds of toys to children in need. “For the seventh year, our officers have done a fantastic job. Even in difficult economic times such as these, scores of officers have donated gifts to children who might not otherwise receive any,” Hughes said.  Correction Center Warden Charles Ellis explained that the officers who participate take the ages and genders of each child—from infants to young adults— and purchase a variety of holiday gifts for each child.

After their brief stop at the McDade Administration Building, the team delivered donations to Anchor House, which provides emergency food, clothing and shelter to runaway and homeless children ages 10 to 17; Anchorage House, which offers transitional housing for youth ages 18 to 21 who lack family support; Angels Wings, which offers emergency shelter and care to abused children ages birth to 12; and Anchor Line, which offers housing and skill to homeless young adults who are temporarily in shelters or on the street.

In addition to the donated presents, officers and staff donated their time and the limousine service. Joining Warden Ellis in the Holiday Convoy were Officer Craig Wrenn, who portrayed Santa; Officer Donald Ryland, PBA President; Officer Brian Waters; Lt. Marvin James, President of SOA; Lt. Phyllis Oliver; Sgt. Farah Fioravanti; Tangela Wright; Investigator Anibal Hernandez; and Investigator James Chianese.