Talk show host Wendy Williams, New York Knicks legend Walt Frazier, "30 Rock" star Grizz Chapman and model Carol Alt were among the celebrities roaming around the Police Athletic League's Harlem Center on Saturday during the organization's annual holiday party.
Parents and staff excitedly snapped photos and made small talk with them. But the 600 kids in attendance -- including many from Staten Island, the Rockaways and other areas heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy -- barely glanced up from their carnival games and toys, except when Clifford the Dog and Santa Claus impersonators came by.
"Santa is the biggest celebrity in the house," joked PAL President John Osborn.
The purpose of the event, he explained, is to provide less fortunate youth with "a holiday spirit pick-me-up."
Chapman told Metro that he was hoping to bring a little happiness to the kids, particularly in the wake of the horrific Connecticut school shooting, while Walt Frazier said looking at the kids with their toys reminded him of his own youth.
"A few of the kids said they liked my [bright-red] shoes," but only the moms and dads recognize me," Frazier said.
Kelly dubs it ‘liveliest’ party
No other Police Athletic League holiday party has ever had such a celebrity component. “It steps it up a couple of notches,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, a PAL kid himself in the 1950s, told Metro. “I’ve been here many, many years, and I would say this is the liveliest one.”