PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of students at a Philadelphia elementary school were given brand new coats Wednesday, just in time for the winter chill. Sixers star Ben Simmons made the donations even more special with his presence.
Sixers mascot Franklin and his backup dancers really got the party started at Henry C. Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia.
But the excitement reached a fever pitch when Simmons walked into the pep rally.
The group of hundreds of third- through eighth-graders quickly flanked Simmons, who was there to hand out coats for the Ben Simmons Coats For Kids Program.
“We had a partnership with Operation Warm and the Philadelphia 76ers in order to provide coats for all of the students in the building,” school principal Shavon Savage said.
Simmons personally helped to find the perfect fit for kids as they tried on their new coats, adding a star-studded touch to a heartwarming giveaway.
“It was fun, I loved seeing Ben Simmons,” fifth-grader Kirk Frazier said. “It was creative and I think everybody was having fun here.”
“We actually have 580 students enrolled and we will be providing a coat to every student in the school, which is awesome so all of the kids will have warm coats,” Savage said.
Hundreds of students showed their heartfelt thank you to Simmons, sporting their new winter gear.
It was the second annual Ben Simmons Coats For Kids Event.
As many as 1,200 Philadelphia students have received brand new coats thanks to the program.