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"Ho Ho Ho," Happy Holidays Wolfe School!

Santa Claus, provided courtesy of Richard "Chief" Alvarez, hands a gift to Nikki Baker during the UCPS Maintenance Department's 13th annual Christmas party held for Wolfe School Friday. Also pictured from left is Wolfe School principal Mary Jo Breckenridge and Sharon Hand from the Maintenance Department.

There was no mistaking the arrival of Santa this morning at Wolfe School. Students shouted with glee and applauded as Jolly Old Saint Nicholas walked into the room pulling his red sleigh filled to overflowing with toys and gifts.
   
Santa Claus, provided courtesy of Richard "Chief" Alvarez, entered the room with a hardy "Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!"  to the delight of approximately 70 exuberant special needs children.
   
The merriment was courtesy of the Union County Public Schools Maintenance Department that was continuing a holiday tradition it began 13 years ago.
             
The Christmas party was started in 1996 by the late Tommy Laney, a technical supervisor with the UCPS Maintenance Department to celebrate the children at Wolfe School and the staff who teach them. Approximately 75 UCPS maintenance staff were on hand for the December 18, 2009, event.
   
"We tried it the first year and everyone in the Maintenance Department was just overcome by how happy the kids were that we decided to make it an annual event," said Steve Kisiah, UCPS Maintenance Assistant Director of Operations.

Teachers and staff at Wolfe School gave suggestions to the party organizers in the Maintenance Department to help in the selection of each student's gift. The Maintenance Department raises money through its annual Ed Sweeney Memorial Golf tournament to fund this event, augmented with money from their own pockets.
   
The late Ed Sweeney, who died December of 2008, was a big proponent of the Wolfe Christmas party and had been with it since its inception in 1996.
   
"The annual holiday party that the Maintenance Staff puts on for Wolfe School is the highlight of our year," said Wolfe principal Mary Jo Breckenridge. "The students and staff are so excited.

"They've been talking about it for a week," she added. "This morning the excitement level has been quite high waiting for Santa Claus. We would really like to thank the Maintenance Department. They do a fabulous job throughout the year supporting us and special needs children."

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Dec 23, 2009 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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