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Patriots players get festive at 29th annual Children's Holiday Party

Matthew Slater, Jahlani Tavai, Nick Folk and Brendan Schooler were among a dozen New England Patriots players there to celebrate with kids from The Salvation Army.

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It's a tradition like no other.

The New England Patriots hosted their 29th annual Children's Holiday Party at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, and a handful of players found themselves covered in tinsel and streamers by the end of the night.

"Vision is a little bit impaired, breathing is restricted, but we're doing alright. We're going to win this, I'm confident," said Patriots captain Matthew Slater, with ornaments hanging from his eyeglasses during the Wrap-A-Pat competition. 

"This is a long standing tradition that I love. It's fantastic. It's all about the kids and them having a good time. That's what Christmas and the holidays are about so this is a blast."

The party was to celebrate with underprivileged kids, and more than 200 children from The Salvation Army and community centers throughout the region were in attendance for a night of fun.

Players including Slater, Jahlani Tavai, Nick Folk, and Brendan Schooler helped serve pizza and treats to every table, and the kids participated in holiday-themed bingo and trivia before getting to decorate Patriots players, cheerleaders, and the Pat Patriot mascot like Christmas trees.

"This is a very unique opportunity that some of these kids would have never had otherwise," said Maj. Scott Kelly with the Salvation Army of Massachusetts.

A blast was had by all, with kids trying to get autographs from each of the dozen-or-so players in attendance.

"We're so lucky as a team to have players like this who truly believe in winning off the field," said Josh Kraft, president of the Patriots Foundation. 

"Tonight is a great example of winning off the field."

The Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation hosted its 29th annual Children's Holiday Party on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022 at Gillette Stadium. Over 200 children in need from The Salvation Army and community centers throughout New England enjoyed a night of food, presented and holiday-themed games, including the always popular wrap-a-pat. Patriots players who took part in the festivities included Matthew Slater, Jahlani Tavai, Brenden Schooler, and Nick Folk.

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