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Alabama Spreads Christmas Cheer at Sprayberry Education Center

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama baseball team kicked off the holiday season by hosting a Christmas party Thursday afternoon at the Sprayberry Education Center in Tuscaloosa. The 2011 trip marked the third straight year the Tide shared Christmas cheer with the children of Sprayberry.

“This is the third year that we’ve been at Sprayberry and it started with Carlisle, who asked us to come over in 2009,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “After year one, we knew this was something we wanted to do year in and year out. It’s great for our team and great for the kids. It’s a win-win for both Sprayberry and our baseball team.”

Sprayberry is the special education facility for the Tuscaloosa County School System and serves the needs of children in five different programs, including preschool, multiple disabilities, autism, alternative and TARGET, for gifted education.

Gaspard and the Crimson Tide baseball team hosted the event at the Sprayberry Center and provided the children with gifts and snacks. The team also participated in the singing of Christmas carols and decorating the school’s tree.

“This is my third year coming to Sprayberry and I’ve enjoyed this every year,” senior outfielder Jon Kelton said. “Being around the kids puts things into a much bigger perspective. You realize that things you think are important really aren’t that important.”

The Christmas party at Sprayberry is just one of many community service projects the baseball team has participated in this fall. The Crimson Tide has also participated in UA’s Halloween Extravaganza, Project Angel Tree and the Stars of the Future Reading Program with Holt Elementary School.

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