CHAMPS Hosts 'Christmas with the Tigers'

by Ryan Ginn
CHAMPS Hosts 'Christmas with the Tigers'

BATON ROUGE — The soft sounds of Christmas music could be heard coming from the Bo Campbell Auditorium Monday night as the LSU Athletic Department hosted “Christmas With the Tigers.”

CHAMPS hosts the annual event that helps make Christmas wishes come true for underprivileged children from the local Baton Rouge area. Each LSU athletic team “adopted” a child and raised money to buy presents off of his or her wish list.

This year, the teams adopted 25 children. Each child had the opportunity to go on stage with the team that adopted them to take photos and open one of their presents. Director of Student Affairs for CHAMPS Mike Mallet hosted the event, and emphasized the importance of giving back to the community.

“These athletes really do a lot.” Mallet said. “They go out, they raise money and bring gifts for these kids. This shows that they are concerned with the community. We tell them all the time that it is giving back to the community that makes yourself special.”

LSU gymnast Susan Jackson also helped at the event. She dressed up in an elf costume, helped pass out the presents and took pictures with the children. Jackson said that she, along with the rest of her gymnastics teammates, held bake sales and were able to raise over $200 to buy presents for their child.

“These kids have never really experienced a full Christmas.” Jackson said. “They don’t have a lot of the same opportunities we do. I enjoy seeing them come here and have smiles on their faces and get good Christmas gifts. It is really cool to give back to them.”

“Christmas is the season of giving,” Mallet said. “That is what this event is all about.”