ANJOU – There’s no snow on the ground and no decorations.
As far as the eye can tell, it’s a regular day at Dalkeith Elementary School.
That is, until you step into the gym, a room decked out right down to its basketball hoops and full of cheering kids, all having breakfast to the Rosemount High School band’s Christmas tunes.
Even the big man, Santa himself, paid a visit.
“Hi everybody,” he said with his deep, cheerful voice as the kids ran to hug him.
Santa brought gifts along, but he some help from a pair of unusual Christmas elves.
Husband and wife Adrian and Natalie Bercovici have been lighting up Christmas for kids across the city for years.
At the helm of the Generations Foundation, they’ve been making sure those in need have a warm breakfast to start their day.
They also give out toys during the holiday season, in partnership with Shaw, Global Montreal’s parent company, as part of their annual food and toy drive.
“It’s really a culmination of all the hard work during the year,” said Adrian Bercovici, the Generations Foundation executive director.
“Basically, we feed 8,000 kids during the year.”
Some of those kids in need are at Dalkeith Elementary.
“Our school runs the gamut,” said the school’s principal, John Wright.
“We have a lot of socio-economic needs as well as a lot of special needs.”
After everyone had a bite, the the moment the kids were waiting for finally arrived, as the toy hand-out began.
The kids warmed right up to Adrian Bercovici, who was handing out the gifts along with Natalie.
As little Sean took his gift from Adrian’s hands, he naturally proceeded to sit on his lap, just as he would with Santa.
Kids couldn’t wait to open their gift, some of them trying to restrain their classmates.
“Don’t open it!” urged one of them.
When kids finally got the go-ahead, paper quickly filled the ground and the room was full of “Whoas!” and “Wows!”
“A Skylander tank, that’s the coolest thing ever!” said one of the kids as he revealed his gift.
“I got my favourite thing, just what I wanted,” said a three-year-old as he was leaving the gym.
And the Bercovici’s got exactly what they wanted as well: a big, warm thank you from all the kids.