WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Three William and Mary student-athletes, over the recent holiday break, volunteered their time as Santa's Elves in conjunction with the Ellen DeGeneres Show to help bring Christmas to a Hampton Roads family in need over the holidays.
Women's basketball senior Emily Correal and sophomore Kyla Kerstetter along with Tribe baseball senior Jackson Shaver were among the William and Mary students who shared a commitment in assisting the Ellen DeGeneres Show's "12 Days of Giveaways", which provided a local family with more than $30,000 in gifts. The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the episode which features the W&M student-athletes, is set to air on Monday, Jan. 7, on WTKR CBS channel 3 at 3 p.m.
The show's associate producer contacted W&M's Office of University Relations in late December to see if any students might be able to help. Although most of the students had already cleared out for winter break, more than a dozen local students volunteered to participate, including the entire women's basketball team. The final participants were sworn to secrecy until after the show aired so as to not ruin the surprise for the family.
On Thursday, Jan. 3, the students loaded a van full of prizes and headed over to the house, where they anxiously waited outside on a side street before making their debut on national television to deliver the gifts.
On-air correspondent Jeannie Klisiewicz knocked on the door of the home of Dominique and Jonathan Pierce and led the students into the house. They carried a plethora of gifts, including a 42-inch television, gift cards ranging from $200 to $2,000, concert tickets, electronics and a trip to Jamaica. Sounds of applause from the studio audience in Los Angeles echoed in the background.
"It's not something that you get to do everyday," stated Correal. "It was definitely an eye opening experience. You see things like this on television all the time but to be apart of the actual production was really fun and gratifying."
"Just to see the excitement on the young kids' face is something that I will always remember," explained Kerstetter. They are a really sweet family and helping them out was really cool. The whole experience was very rewarding, from seeing how the entire production worked to bonding with fellow students and eventually surprising the family was really neat."
Watch the video clip here.