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Sharing the joy

Sheriff’s Department provides presents to families in need

Employees of the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office unload presents on Tuesday, Dec. 13, before surprising children at the Rotterdam Boys & Girls Club with the gifts.

Employees of the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office unload presents on Tuesday, Dec. 13, before surprising children at the Rotterdam Boys & Girls Club with the gifts. Photo by John Purcell.

— Kids getting off the school bus on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the Rotterdam Boys and Girls Club were surprised to see police vehicles in the parking lot and officers inside the club.

“Are people in trouble?” asked a young girl walking in.

On Dec. 13, Santa was wearing a different suit as Schenectady County Sheriff Dominic Dagostino handed out gifts to children.

Once again the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office drummed up holiday spirit within the department as employees donated money to help purchase around 500 presents for children in needy families who might otherwise not have had much under the tree.

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Schenectady County Sheriff Dominic Dagostino and his 7-year-old son Michael, standing directly in front of him, pose with children from the Rotterdam Boys & Girls Club holding the gifts they received from the County Sheriff’s Office.

Dagostino said former Sheriff Harry Buffardi started the program with the Boys and Girls Club and Dagostino said he’s happy to continue the tradition of holiday giving. Last year, the department focused on providing gifts to one family in need, but the recent flooding and the economic condition led the department to ramp up efforts. The following day, on Dec. 14, employees from the County Sheriff’s Office headed over to Rotterdam Junction to distribute more presents.

“Not only are we making our yearly stop at the Boys and Girls Club, but tomorrow we are also bringing down gifts to the (Rotterdam Junction) Fire Department,” said Dagostino. “This isn’t me, this is the people that work for the office. I am just the fortunate young man that goes out and is able to deliver these gifts to these kids. The praises have to be heaped on the unions and administrative staff that take their time and are devoted to getting these gifts.”

The local Boys and Girls Club is a special place to Dagostino, because he grew up living down the street from the club and going to it daily.

“This place is near and dear to me, I grew up in this place,” he said. “From the time I was six years old I lived down the street here and I spent my younger years and my early teen years in this place.”

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