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

Greater Victoria teachers experienced more than 30 incidents of violence from students in one month

Shuttered behavioural programs, lack of resources creates challenges for local schools

Esquimalt High robotics team heads to international competition

The Esquimalt Atom Smashers will participate in the FIRST Robotics Canada competition

Canadian alcohol policy gets failing grade from UVic researchers

Canadian provinces and territories collectively achieved less than half of their potential to reduce alcohol related harm

Island playoffs underway at Oak Bay High

Home team vies for fifth straight Island title

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read