The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.
Three days before Christmas, Millikan football star Ryan Pellum spent the day handing out toys to students, spreading some holiday cheer across Long Beach and Lakewood.
The former Moore League Player of the Year, who is a national level recruit in the Class of 2024, made visits to Barton Elementary and Gompers Elementary, where he was once a student himself. Pellum said he wanted to take the opportunity to give back to kids in his community during the holiday season.
“It was really important, especially because I’m from Long Beach,” he said. “I live close to Barton, and I used to go to Gompers, so it was really important to come give back to the kids and do what I love.”
The event was billed as the “First Annual Ryan Pellum Toy Drive”, presented in partnership with the nonprofit Model Citizen Fund. Pellum handed out hundreds of toys to kids from a number of different grades, along with a few hugs and “Merry Christmas” wishes to the students.
“I definitely want to inspire the kids that when you get to a certain level, to give back,” he said. “And the people that you have in your circle, bring them with you–I want to give that message. And I want to thank The Network Advisory, Justin, Claire, Miss Nicki, and a big shout out to my mom, she was the biggest help running around getting things set up with the schools, so big shout out to them.”
The Millikan program has been involved in a number of community service events in recent years, including visits to local elementary and middle schools during their bye week this past fall. That effort was one of the reasons Pellum wanted to return to Barton, so he could visit those same students he’d met before–but this time with gifts in hand.