2012-12-28 / Community

Little North Pole Brings Joy To Recovering Rockaway

Remembers Sandy Hook Shooting Victims
By Miriam Rosenberg


Happiness is getting a hug from Elmo. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg Happiness is getting a hug from Elmo. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg Superstorm Sandy threatened a Rockaway tradition but Joe Mure decided “Sandy Can’t Stop Santa” and decided to host the annual Little North Pole event in front of his Neponsit home on Sunday, December 23 as he has done for 19 years. Although the event has usually raised money for Juvenile Diabetes, this year’s event was devoted to the victims of the storm which devastated so much of the area.

“Many people were taken away from their homes,” said Mure. “Most children were taken out of their schools. And we’re here tonight for one reason to tell the children that we’re here together. That Rockaway is here together. That our friends are here together and together we will survive.”

Although the event was a slightly scaled down version of previous North Poles, there was an added touch as the home was adorned with 26 newly planted trees stringed with lights in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.


“Is that really you, Santa?” “Is that really you, Santa?” “Those trees are here tonight to remind us of what took place,’ said Mure.

All the monies raised during the evening went to the Kiwanis of Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge for Sandy Relief in Rockaway. The Kiwanis also donated the trees that were lit.



Santa makes everyone smile. Santa makes everyone smile.

Some of the 26 trees lighted in memory of the shootings victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Some of the 26 trees lighted in memory of the shootings victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Santa gives two boys their gifts. Santa gives two boys their gifts.

Joseph Mure, right, gets ready to light this year’s Little North Pole – 26 trees in memory of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims. With him is WCBS-FM radio personality Joe Causi. Joseph Mure, right, gets ready to light this year’s Little North Pole – 26 trees in memory of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims. With him is WCBS-FM radio personality Joe Causi.

Santa reminded youngsters not to “forget the milk and cookies” on Christmas Eve. Santa reminded youngsters not to “forget the milk and cookies” on Christmas Eve.

Broad Channel resident Gary Russo entertains. Broad Channel resident Gary Russo entertains.

Children join entertainer Lucas Prada on stage in preparation of Santa’s arrival. Children join entertainer Lucas Prada on stage in preparation of Santa’s arrival.

Escorted by a police emergency vehicle and tow trucks, Santa Claus and his elf arrived with a sleigh full of toys. Escorted by a police emergency vehicle and tow trucks, Santa Claus and his elf arrived with a sleigh full of toys.

Children gathered on stage react to the arrival of Santa. Children gathered on stage react to the arrival of Santa.

One of Santa’s elves gets out among the crowd. One of Santa’s elves gets out among the crowd.

Monsignor James Spengler, of St. Rose of Lima, delivers an opening prayer. Monsignor James Spengler, of St. Rose of Lima, delivers an opening prayer.

A set of cars makes this young guy a happy fellow. A set of cars makes this young guy a happy fellow.

Sharing a laugh with Cookie Monster. Sharing a laugh with Cookie Monster.

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