On July 19, the Philly POPS, in coordination with Comcast NBCUniversal, Amazon, L’Oréal, National HR and a number of private donors, gave hundreds of bicycles and helmets to children of members of the military, Philadelphia police and fire departments – simultaneously at Comcast Center in Philadelphia and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
Christmas in July marks the on-sale date for tickets to the POPS’ widely-attended Christmas concert series in December – shows that almost completely sold out in 2015.
The main ceremony at Comcast Center was warm and festive, complete with Santa in shorts, Victorian carolers, POPS musicians playing Christmas songs, Christmas trees, candy canes and gifts! POPS President and CEO, Frank Giordano, presented alongside City of Philadelphia Government City Representative Sheila Hess, Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Richard Ross, Philadelphia Fire Department Commissioner Adam Thiel and Comcast's Carol Eggert.
Children were bursting with excitement about receiving new bikes—some immediately riding them around the plaza. Santa and the Police and Fire Commissioners gave tips on riding bikes for the younger kids.
Another 150 bikes, donated and built by a team of Amazon employees, will be given out on December 2 before the third annual I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders event which opens the Christmas concert season with a free concert for military, veterans, police officers, firefighters and their families at the Kimmel Center.
This event was part of the POPS’ Salute Series – events held in connection with major holidays that honor the American tradition of service and bring POPS performances into the community.