Massachusetts First Lady Diane Patrick and Boston First Lady Angela Menino joined with state and local officials on Saturday to participate in a holiday celebration for children in need.
The prominent volunteers climbed aboard commuter rail trains with more than 600 children and families from 25 local youth charities and government agencies, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad, which hosted the event, said in a statement.
Before boarding the trains, children signed a giant get-well card for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who is recovering from a variety of health issues at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the MBCR said.
Aboard each car, a different volunteer read the popular children’s book “The Polar Express” and led Christmas carol sing-alongs in each coach.
In addition to the first ladies, readers included Wellesley Police Chief Terrence Cunningham; Jonathan Davis, acting general manager of the MBTA; Hugh Kiley, general manager of the commuter rail; and state Secretary of Veterans' Services Coleman Nee.
Participating government agencies and charitable organizations included Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the Boston Housing Authority, the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, the DorchesterBay Economic Development Corp, Friends of the Children – Boston, the Home for Little Wanderers, Smart from the Start, and South Boston Neighborhood House.
Event sponsors included Au Bon Pain, Holly McGrath Bruce and David Bruce, Equity Office, the Highland Street Foundation, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, retail giant Target, the Standard Modern Company, and South Station.