Sensitive Santa Surprises Youngsters

Santa listens to 4 yr. old Riddley share her Christmas wishes on Dec. 3, 2017.

The Northwood Funeral Home provided a tranquil space for Algoma Autism Foundation’s 2nd annual Breakfast with Santa held Sunday morning, Dec. 3, 2017.

Katrina Daddario, Vice-President of Algoma Autism Foundation spoke with saultonline, explaining the importance of providing private time for youngsters and families with ‘sensitive’ Santa.

Lisa Hill with her two children Jackson (4 yrs.) and Zoey (6 yrs.) enjoyed pancakes before meeting Santa at the 2nd annual Breakfast with Santa. Dec. 3,2017. Unicorns and Thomas the Tank Engine are favourites in the Hill household.

“Offering children and families a quiet space to visit with Santa creates an opportunity for them to share their Christmas wishes. Often, too much noise and activity that can happen at a Mall (for example) is challenging for children with autism.”

The mall in December can be stressful for many people, and even more so for youngsters who have sensory processing challenges, often associated with autism. Providing a quiet space for children builds in a more successful outcome for a visit with the world’s largest toy maker – Santa. Lights and music are more subdued when ‘sensitive’ Santa is there to listen to a Christmas wish list.

Pancake flipper and Sault Ste. Marie Kiwanis Club member Ed Servant cooks up hotcakes for Breakfast with Santa – – Decembr 3, 2017

Daddario stated that all proceeds from the ticket sales for Breakfast with Sensitive Santa are going to support the James St. Soup Kitchen and Community Centre’s after-school programme.

Joan Currie, Northwood Funeral Home said that Northwood is matching funds raised from the breakfast with Santa for the Soup Kitchen. Derek Seaton, Peter Stoycheff and Terra Hill from Northwood Funeral Home were on hand to help keep the morning moving along.

After breakfast, families were escorted upstairs for a private fireside chat with Santa and elves.

Louise Olar, Olar Photography donated her time and skills to ensure that families received a photograph to memorialize their visit with Santa.

Santa and Elves spent time with the Hill family on Dec. 3, 2017.

Jordan Forbes and Jeff Viotto assumed the duties of elves while Tom O’Donnell captured the children’s imaginations as Santa.

50 families were registered for two separate breakfast seatings. The Sault Ste. Marie Kiwanis Club provided the breakfast. Ed Servant, Jim St. Jules and Cora Lee King kept the pancakes coming hot off the griddle.

Each child received a Christmas goodie bag donated by Cooperators Insurance.