The Dallas Mavericks turned the Mavs Gaming Hub into a winter wonderland on Thursday, and for a second, everyone forgot about the 80-degree humidity outside. It was festive and bright and really, really merry (and LOUD, in the most glorious way possible)!
This year’s Mavs Cookies with Santa, presented by Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics, was a celebration from start to finish with plenty of games, holiday crafts, cookies, and thoughtfully designed touches to bring lots of laughter.
Over 50 underserved children from Vogel Alcove and Kids-U arrived to spend the afternoon with the Mavs. Each child received a gift bag full of surprises (more on that later), and Jefferson Dental also hooked the youngsters up with dental kits to keep those smiles bright.
Dallas Mavs CEO Cynt Marshall and the Dallas Mavs team soon arrived, decked out in Maverick blue Santa hats and big jolly smiles. Of course, the main attraction — Mr. Santa Claus himself — was also in attendance, and the children were thrilled to spend one-on-one time with him.
The Mavs’ annual Cookies with Santa event looked slightly different this year due to NBA health and safety protocols. The players couldn’t interact as close, but everyone made the best of it and the day was beautiful and special for all the kids and Mavs. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
1. THE 2021-22 DALLAS MAVERICKS TEAM
Can we give a round of applause to our extraordinary, committed, and servant leaders of the Dallas Mavs? Despite a heavy game and travel schedule this month, the men still showed up to give back to the community that adores them. The players were like proud big brothers watching the children open their gifts. They sat next to Santa, and made sure everyone had a blast.
2. THE VIPs (VERY, VERY IMPORTANT, PRECIOUS, AMAZING CHILDREN)
Over 50 special kids from Vogel Alcove and Kids-U rode buses to the event. Just to put the preparations in perspective: the Dallas Mavs community relations team receives a wish list from every child, and they shop for all the kids. It’s a mighty undertaking, but something the Mavs do with absolute joy and excitement. Each child receives gifts worth about $250 in value. It’s significant for these children because they come for circumstances that aren’t always the best. The Mavs create a day catered to every child to make their wishes come true…
3. THE MAVS GAMING HUB WAS POPPIN’
If you’ve never seen the Mavs Gaming Hub, then it’s a sight to behold. There’s a reason it’s known as a “gaming playground” because that’s exactly what it is! The facility has all the latest technological gadgets and video games, and the space is just large, bright, and inviting. This year, the events and community team created stations for all the children. They had one area to write letters to Santa, another space to color dollhouses, giant blocks, and toys to build tall towers and arcade games to play anything their hearts desired!
4. MAY I PRESENT YOU WITH A 7-FOOT-4 GUY HOLDING A TOOTHBRUSH…
Each year the Mavericks, thanks to the generous support of businesses likes Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics, come together to create a winter wonderland full of holiday surprises and gifts for at-risk children. Boban is especially fond of the toothbrush he says is just his size! Every child took home special dental kits and other gifts thanks to Jefferson! Boban, unfortunately, had to leave behind his toothbrush…
5. SANTA READING ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
6. THIS WEEK WAS OFFICIALLY “TIM HARDAWAY JR. GIVING BACK TO KIDS WEEK”
Tim Hardaway Jr. said this week with the kids was “magical,” and we feel the same way because of him! Timmy poured in loads of time, hours, and funds this week, giving back to children in North Texas. After Monday’s game, he hosted kids from Bridgebuilders and spent time with them after the game against Charlotte. Then on Tuesday, the Mavs’ guard/forward surprised two families and paid off their rent. Wednesday, he played another game, and today he was back with the community team at Cookies with Santa. Two snaps for Tim, who was MVP this year when it comes to wrapping skills…
SPEAKING OF WRAPPING SKILLS…🤔
Santa and his elves tell us that Tim was the best and most meticulous wrapper, and he also chose the biggest toy. Meanwhile, Josh Green struggled and asked for help, but he enjoyed picking out the bow! Keep working hard, Josh! You’ll get there!
7. TOP FUNNY MOMENT: BOBAN BEING BOBAN
Do you know that kid in class who is always extra loud when the teacher is talking? That was Boban. Perhaps the night’s funniest moment happened when Santa read ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas. Boban was so excited that he started telling another side story about Santa. Meanwhile, KP was giving him the side eye while laughing. It was a rare insight into what a film room or a plane ride might look like with Boban, who is adored and loved by young and old alike. Meanwhile, Frank Ntilikina is a great listener along with Dorian Finney-Smith. Doe has three children, so he buys into all the fun, too!
Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall is the first Black woman to lead an NBA franchise, and she’s a phenomenal leader and representative for the franchise. This week, she capped off another special milestone when she turned 62 years young! Every birthday is a beautiful and special celebration for Cynt. Cancer once threatened her life and now she turns over the calendar with great joy. “I’m proud of each birthday and to live another year,” she told us with enthusiasm. Each year, Cynt makes sure to attend countless community events, and she always arrives early to Cookies with Santa. She absolutely adores the little ‘honeys’ and has a mighty heart for children across North Texas. Tonight she helped the children write letters to Santa and they mailed them off, just in time for Christmas…
9. ANOTHER TOP MOMENT – THE ‘COOKIES WITH SANTA’ DECOR AND PIZAZZ!
10. AT THE END OF THE NIGHT, RAISING CANE’S — DISHED OUT DINNER TO GO! THE KIDS LOVE THEIR RAISING CANE’S CHICKEN. SO. 👏 DO. 👏 WE. 👏
11. THE MAVS COMMUNITY RELATIONS AND EVENTS TEAM
This is the team behind the team. Weeks before Cookies with Santa, the Mavs community team sets out to shop for every single child. Then they wrap all those presents with love and care. So when the moment arrives for the children to unwrap their special surprises, it’s always an extra touching moment for the community team! Check out all the bikes and gifts…
12. AND FINALLY — OUR TOP MOMENT OF THE YEAR IS — BEING TOGETHER!
Even though the players couldn’t interact as close this year, the 2021 version of Mavs Cookies with Santa was pure bliss. We were all together under one roof with plenty of joy and laughter to propel everyone forward into the New Year. There is so much goodness in the world and we witness it every single day with the Mavericks. The NBA Season of Giving is always important to the Mavs franchise, and it’s our goal to reach more children in the most impactful way each season. The work is far from finished. There are still several more events to come this holiday season and 2022 will be the best one yet. The Mavs and Mavs Foundation will donate $1 million in grants and funding this season to empower children, women, and families. We can’t wait!
From the Dallas Mavs family to yours, we hope you have a very happy holidays! 💙 This IS truly why we play.
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