There was wild applause in West Roxbury Friday after each performance in the Patrick Lyndon Pilot School’s annual Christmas pageant, as teachers, parents, and grandparents beamed with pride for the young performers.
For the children, though, the most exciting moment probably was not the third graders singing “Over the River and Through the Wood” or the kindergarten-1 students’ performance of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” — it was the appearance of Santa himself.
The jolly old elf appeared in the school auditorium not to reward well-behaved children with dolls, bicycles, and puzzles, but to accept a gift from those boys and girls that will help other children have a happy holiday.
The children, parents, teachers, and administrators at the Lyndon School donated more than $2,800 to Globe Santa, setting a new school record.
Katie Tunney, principal of the lower school, said in an interview that Cathryn Stein, the school nurse, leads the effort to support Globe Santa each year, but Stein said the children deserve the credit.
“Every single child makes a gift, helps solicit money, participates in a silly hat day,” Stein said, explaining that for a $1 fee on the chosen day, students get to wear the most bizarre hat they can find.
The school’s fund-raising effort also included a staff raffle and a generous donation by the Parent Teacher Association, Tunney said, and is one of many ways the school gives back to the community.
Other efforts include a recent food drive for the Roslindale Food Pantry and a campaign last spring that collected about $3,000 for the One Fund Boston, benefitting those injured and the families of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombings, Tunney said.
“We really teach our children about being a member of your community, and that means you support your community in any way you can,” Tunney said.
Stein said the school community was happy to be able to present its donation to Christopher M. Mayer, publisher of the Globe; Bill Connolly, who oversees the Globe Santa program; and, of course, Santa Claus himself.
“It was a huge honor to have Chris Mayer here,” she said. “It was great to get that recognition.”
The Lyndon School is one of many Boston public schools contributing to Globe Santa, part of a tradition that started in the early 1960s, and that includes efforts by about 45,000 children, Mayer said.
“Your contribution means a lot, and it matters to other kids,” Mayer told the children.
This year, Boston public schools raised more than $8,200 at last count.
Albert Taylor Jr., an assistant superintendent for the School Department, said the department and the families it serves are devoted to ensuring that all children can enjoy the holiday season. “Boston is very, very serious about trying to help families that otherwise wouldn’t have a very merry Christmas,” he said.
For more information about Globe Santa, visit the website globesanta.org.