NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 15: In this composite image comprised of four individual photographs, Mattel's E-L-M-O, recipient of the Toy of the Year award, poses in some of the positions he articulates while singing E-L-M-O to the rhythm of the Village People song "YMCA" February 15, 2004 at the 2004 Toy Fair in New York City. The American International Toy Fair begins Sunday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and runs through February 18. (Composite Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
Two hundred Long Island foster care children got a rare treat this afternoon -- a free shopping spree at Wal-Mart.
The lucky kidsstrolled up and down the aisles of the East Meadow Wal-Mart hunting for their favorite toys, clothes and electronics. Each of the two hundred children can spend $100.
For 12-year-old Cheyenne, it's a dream come true. She bought a CD, a lava lamp and a phone. She said that usually "I only get a couple things" and described the experience as "amazing".
Nine-year-old Xavier headed straight for the toy shelves and picked up a "Bop It" as an early Christmas present. Fifteen-year-old Mary got a Tickle Me Elmo, saying she'll never be too old for Elmo.
This is the tenth year that children monitored by the Education and Assistance Corporation (EAC) have been given this unique shopping opportunity. It's all thanks to the generosity of EAC Board member, and Farmingdale resident, Thomas Gubitosi. He's funded the shopping spree through the Marie Gubitosi Foundation, named after his late mother with the goal of helping needy children.
Mary says she's grateful for people like Thomas. She says "it's amazing that he takes the time to help people who are less fortunate, to give everyone a Merry Christmas."
The event takes place each year in conjuction with the Nassau and Suffolk Counties Department of Social Services.