Creating Christmas memories filled with indescribable excitement—the kind of zeal felt by a child on Christmas morning: that’s the goal of the Broncos Holiday Party, which is sponsored by the Denver Broncos for families and individuals in the STAR Transitional Program.

As families arrived at the 20th annual holiday party hosted at The Crossing, they were welcomed with a present that included a board game, hot chocolate, marshmallows, and a gift card.

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The evening started with the anticipated reveal of the renovated Denver Broncos Youth Center, which has recently been upgraded with freshly painted walls, improved lighting and signage, and new chairs, tables and decor.

The renovations were sponsored by the Denver Broncos with the goal to provide a more comfortable and welcoming space for the kids living at The Crossing.

The kids wore matching Broncos t-shirts and held up a blue and orange paper chain for the “ribbon cutting” ceremony. CEO Brad Meuli and Chris Harris Jr. dedicated the renovations before the kids barged in with more players waiting on the other side of the door, including De’Vante Bausby, Malik Reed, Brandon Allen, Bradley Chubb, Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, Josh Watson, Justin Simmons, and Davontae Harris.

The kids’ excitement was overwhelming as the players greeted them and handed out glow sticks, with Miles the Mascot frolicking around in a Christmas suit.

The players then served dinner to the families—a delicious catered meal of ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread, and salad.

Following the meal, the players headed back to the Broncos Room to decorate gingerbread cookies with the kids. They chatted, they laughed and they got creative.

The kids were elated to receive one-on-one attention from the players. Our hope through this holiday party is to create a memorable Christmas celebration for our families in the STAR program. They may have had difficult Christmases in the past when facing homelessness, and the hope is that one day, when they think about their time at the Mission, they’re reminded of the moments they met their favorite Broncos players, decorated cookies with the team and enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner.

We’re so grateful for the support of the Denver Broncos. Their generous donations to renovate the Denver Broncos Youth Center, their sponsorship of the annual holiday party, and the time they dedicate to make kids at the Mission feel special is deeply appreciated.

Written and photographs by: Natanya van Heerden, Content Specialist