WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- News flash: Santa Claus has made an early landing in Westchester County at the John A. Coleman School and Children's Rehabilitation Center.
The special visit from the North Pole to 317 North St. was arranged by the Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 274, a 40-year tradition in White Plains.
Santa was joined by Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Winnie the Pooh and Buddy the Elf bringing plenty of joy, laughter and merriment to schoolchildren, families and staff.
With no snow on the ground Friday to land his sleigh of toys and stuffed animals, Santa and his helpers arrived via fire engine, courtesy of the White Plains Fire Department.
“The second our children see that firetruck pull up, the holiday spirit just fills the air,” said Principal Maria Leitenberger. “This year, Santa and his friends were greeted by our students singing Christmas carols which, of course, reached a fever pitch the second Mr. Claus stepped into the school."
Firefighters assisted Santa in distributing stuffed animals to all the children at John A. Coleman School.
White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, Fire Chief Richard Lyman and Deputy Fire Chief Richard Houlihan also joined the holiday festivities.
“I enjoyed watching the cast of Santa’s characters work the room and give each child individual attention,” Lyman said. “Every child who visited with Santa felt special.”
The John A. Coleman School, with campuses in White Plains and Yonkers, provides community and center-based special education and therapeutic programs to children from birth to 21 years of age from over 50 school districts in Westchester, Putnam, the Bronx and Manhattan.
The Coleman School serves more than 900 children and their families. It is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of New York and is affiliated with the St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation, which includes the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers.
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