Cross Island Crew Host Successful Holiday Party

The Cross Island Crew donated to those in need during their joyful holiday party
Dec 20, 2019
There were enough toys and games that wound up stuffed into a big blue bag to weigh down Santa's sleigh just a bit.
Supporters of the New York Cosmos certainly were in a generous mood again this holiday season giving plenty of toys, games and sports equipment to needy children at the Cross Island Crew's annual Christmas party at Prost Grill & Garten in Garden City, N.Y. last Sunday.
"We feel like it went really well," said Janine Odell, the organizer of the event. "Obviously, the turnout was on one of our lower ends for our Christmas party. But everybody was beyond generous and we really got a lot of toys that we're able to bring to Toys of Hope."
Toys of Hope of Huntington, N.Y. was the organization’s charity of choice. About 40 toys were donated. The Cosmos also got into the act, giving more than a dozen soccer balls.
"Everybody was very generous," Odell said. "Most of the families did give multiple toys. Families were coming in with bags of toys rather than just one item."
Cosmos supporters felt it was only natural to help the needy.
Rick Sibrian of New York Hyde Park, N.Y. who brought his four children to the party, felt it was a no-brainer to donate gifts for other children.
"It's always important," he said. "We not only represent the Cosmos. We represent the community. Whether it's the island, Suffolk, Nassau, boroughs, Queens. The guys in Queens who can't make it out here to these trips. They have their own get-togethers, their own parties and its always about the community. It's fantastic that we do this. I feel like we should do it on a more consistent basis to give back to the community."
The Sibrian family brought plenty of toys.
"We bought a lot of stuff; 50-50, a few gifts for the boys, a few gifts for the girls," Sibrian said. "I bought stuff that my kids would probably want when they were younger. I literally gave them my debit card. 'You guys, go. I'll wait for you guys outside in the car.' "
They came in with a couple of board games, toys, a Spider-man mask and Play Doh.
Irvin of West Hempstead, N.Y., who declined to give his last name, but who is better known as Whupsie to his supporters, came with two soccer balls, a smaller one for the younger children, a larger one for older kids, and an Uno card game.
"It's giving back to the community," Irvin said. "We support the Cosmos, but we also support the New York metropolitan area."
It also was a time to socialize with friendships forged at soccer games through the years.
"It's amazing. It's fantastic," Sibrian said. "We don't really see each other that much outside of games and stuff. We always try to get together, whether it's hanging out like a bar like this or just maybe going out, movies or just going out to a bar. We kick the ball around sometimes. We meet up at practices. Some of us play the drums and stuff [at games]."
Talk ranged from soccer to other sports to what families are up to.
"We're reminiscing about the past season, even derby days back in the day because a lot of us here were there," Irvin said. "We're just talking about past memories we've had together as a group."
"We really are just a bunch of friends together and talk about everything," Odell added.
At the present time, the Cross Island Crew does not have other events planned, but as the National Independent Soccer Association fall season nears, Odell figured there will be occasions to gather together again.
"I'm sure that when the weather starts getting nicer, we'll plan some things," she said. "We usually have a barbecue over the summer and more events at Prost."
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