HACKENSACK, N.J. -- A group of Bergen County police chiefs brought joy to ill children at three area hospitals -- and themselves -- Wednesday morning.
"It's a nice feeling for all of us fellow chiefs to get together for such a wonderful cause," Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino told Daily Voice.
Regino and his fellow Bergen County Police Chiefs Association members were joined for breakfast at the Arena Diner in Hackensack by Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino -- who brought a bus.
Together, the sheriff and chiefs visited the pediatric wards at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck and The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.
The contingent included the association president, Police Chief Joseph Rutigliano of Wood-Ridge, and Chiefs Cathy Madalone of Bergenfield, Carmelo Imbruglia of Wallington, Jeremy Abrams of Montvale, John Ward of Ridgewood, Robert Carney of Teaneck Lawrence Suffern of Englewood and Christopher Campbell of Haworth, among others.
"We brought age-appropriate presents for children from a couple of months to 17 years old and were escorted by hospital staff," Regino said.
With them was 65-year-old Ron Tucci of Northvale, one of the area's most popular volunteer Santa Clauses.
"Each ward had three or four children," Regino said. "You feel sad to see them in the hospital this time of year. But it cheers them up as soon as Santa walks in."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.