Santa celebrates a successful visit with his fans, even the youngest ones. (Photo submitted)

Colwood McDonald’s delivers a special treat

Special event hosted for kids on the autism spectrum

The McDonald’s restaurant on Island Highway opened its doors for a very special Christmas party for a group of children who, too often, are excluded from the usual round of seasonal fun.

Last Sunday, Jamie and Ken Taylor, the operators of several McDonald’s restaurants in Greater Victoria, opened their doors and hearts to host a holiday party for local children on the autism spectrum at their Colwood location.

The kids in attendance ranged in age from three to 12 years of age, and were all clients of the Langford Functional Learning Centre.

The party was something that Jamie said he was thrilled to help organize, even though it took a bit of extra care. “Kids on the spectrum often have trouble with loud noises, or too much stimulation,” he said. “So we made sure this event was set up with quiet and loud rooms so everyone has a space they can feel safe.”

Some of the children who were in attendance are able to speak, while others can only communicate through gestures. Others are incapable of communicating at all. “Getting the kids together socially outside of a therapy or educational situation is so valuable,” said Neveen Zaki, owner of Functional Learning Centre. “This kind of event helps the kids learn to play together, and give the parents time to share notes, and feel connected to other people facing the same challenges.”

The high point of the party, of course, was a visit from Santa, with the help of Santa’s helper, Bob Saunders.

“I love any chance to contribute to the community, but especially something fun like helping St. Nick for special kids like these,” Saunders said.

“These kids have so many challenges, I’m glad we could give them a fun afternoon.”

The party was a hub of activity for the 22 children in attendance, who all received gifts from Santa, and free food and beverages courtesy of McDonald’s.

One of the children summed up the event in an exuberant exclamation that only a four year old could deliver. Abigail Rose, pulled on her boots when it was time to go and beaming, picked up the toy she’d been given by Santa.

“It was super awesome. I loved it so much … especially when Santa came,” she exclaimed.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

West Shore skatepark moves closer to fruition

Company estimates project will cost $600,000

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Short trip to car-free Sidney Spit offers camping, beaches, hikes

Sidney Spit is part of B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a protected marine ecosystem

Canadian military gains valuable disaster experience at RIMPAC

Naval, air force and army personnel practise war activities, humanitarian relief

Well-versed in national competition, trio heads to B.C. Summer Games

The three will be representing Zone 6 in boys field lacrosse

WATCH: Thousands rock in Colwood over the weekend

Rock the Shores returns after one-year hiatus

Black Press Media journalists win big at Canadian community newspaper awards

Newsrooms earn recognition for editorial and photography excellence

Riptide, CVUSC paved the way for varsity soccer players

Chloe Gummer has become a leader at VIU

HarbourCats giving away funeral/cremation prize pack at Wednesday game

West Coast League club will draw for end-of-life package for one lucky, forward-looking fan

B.C. woman disappointed after family asked for ID at townhouse complex pool

Surrey woman says it’s not the first time she has experienced racial profiling at the complex

Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Group behind North Thompson River Provincial Park occupation protest says arrest is ‘declaration of war’

A day of deals at Amazon, and at its rivals

Online retail giant extends annual ‘Prime Day’ promotion to 36 hours

Alert B.C. campers raise alarm and avert potential propane disaster

Salmon Arm camper lodges a complaint with Technical Safety BC after motorhome tank is over-filled.

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan announces new Crown corporation for public works

Most Read