OAKLAND -- Mark Canha and the A's Community Fund hosted a holiday party at the Oakland Zoo on Thursday for 200 local elementary students, celebrating a season of spirit and giving.
The students were treated to a bevy of surprises as a reward for their commitment to good citizenship, attendance and class behavior. Not only did they each receive a wrapped gift, courtesy of the Good Tidings Foundation, but they were treated to a visit with Canha, the A's first baseman/outfielder, and Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson.
In addition, their time at the zoo was filled with arts and crafts, face painting and an animal presentation, and lunch was provided by Round Table Pizza.
"It's just great to be out here with the kids in the community for the holidays," said Canha, who grew up in nearby San Jose. "I'm from here and remember doing things like this when I was in school, so it's just a real fun way of giving back."
The students, who received autographs from and took pictures with Canha, hail from Vincent Academy, a public charter school located in West Oakland that is tuition-free to all families.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.