Wide receiver Derrick Mason and cornerback Samari Rolle are definitely making the "nice list" this year after hosting a Target shopping spree for 60 youth on Thursday (12/10). This annual holiday tradition pairs each child with a "celebrity shopper."
Quarterback Joe Flacco, cornerback K.J. Gerard, wide receiver Justin Harper, tight ends Todd Heap and Edgar Jones, fullback Le'Ron McClain, defensive tackle Trevor Pryce, safety Ed Reed, wide receivers Eron Riley and David Tyree, and cornerbacks Frank Walker and Lardarius Webb* *served as personal shopping assistants as they helped select gifts with kids from Bluford Drew Jemison Academy as well as Baltimore City and Baltimore County Police Athletic Leagues. Ravens cheerleaders, Poe and the University of Maryland's Testudo joined the shopping extravaganza.
Participants enjoyed a pre-shop pizza party and cake. DJ Ahmad helped set the holiday mood playing music throughout the store. In addition to their purchases, each child received a gift bag, Samari Rolle jersey and a commemorative photo from the event.
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Running back Ray Rice helped "make the season bright" for students at Belmont Elementary on Monday (12/14). Tackle Jared Gaither, wide receiver Justin Harperand cornerback Lardarius Webb joined Rice for the holiday celebration. The Ravens hosted dinner for the youth and took on the role of Santa as they distributed gifts for all.
Deck the Halls of M&T Bank Stadium (Fa la la la la – la la la la)
Tackle Jared Gaitheralso played host at the Big Brothers Big Sisters party at M&T Bank Stadium Monday. The 6'9" elf met with "bigs" and "littles," posed for pictures and gave personalized gifts in the form of autographs for attendees.
Baby, It's Cold Outside
Last January, quarterback Joe Flacco and tackle Adam Terry were freezing for a reason when they took part in the Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Maryland. The holiday party the duo hosted on Monday for the organization was much warmer. Guards Chris Chester and Ben Grubbs, punter Sam Koch, guard Tony Moll, tackle Stefan Rodgers, tight end Quinn Sypniewski and guard Marshal Yanda* *joined the festive party mingling with guests and supporting a great cause.
No Grinches Here
Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo visited the students at Windsor Mill Middle School on Tuesday (12/15). The UCLA graduate spoke to the eighth grade class at an "All-Gentlemen's Assembly" about the importance of respect. Ayanbadejo shared personal anecdotes as he interacted with the crowd and took questions from the group.
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
During the holiday season, not everyone's wish list is an outlandish as Shirley Temple's was. Regardless of the size of the request, linebacker Ray Lewis spread some Christmas magic as he hosted his annual Holiday Gift Marketplace. Close to 200 local youth in need were able to select gifts for themselves and their families.
Participants enjoyed dinner and were entertained by a magician throughout the evening. After the shopping concluded, the 10-time Pro Bowler answered questions from the crowd. In addition to the memories from a wonderful night, each child received an autographed Ray Lewis photo and a Macy's gift bag.
Jingle Bell Rock
According to Buddy the Elf, "the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." While it couldn't quite be described as caroling, and calling it "singing" might be a stretch, several Ravens players joined running back Ray Riceand wide receiver Kelley Washington* *behind the mic at the Gridiron Sing-off.
In the Baltimore version of "Ravens Idol," linebackers Antwan Barnes and Prescott Burgess, wide receiver Mark Clayton, guard Ben Grubbs and tight end Edgar Jones displayed their vocal stylings. Barnes started the night with Montell Jordan's "This is How We Do It," setting the standard for the event. With previous practice at one of Derrick Mason's karaoke events, Jones entertained the audience with his rendition of Creed's "With Arm Wide Open."
For the grand finale, the Ravens players joined a local band to sing the Black Eyed Pea's "I've Gotta Feeling." Although they didn't have to face Randy, Paula and Simon, and they won't be receiving a record contract anytime soon, their golden pipes earned them some green as proceeds from the event will be split between the players' favorite charities.