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A dance with Santa

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Children with Down syndrome sat on Santa’s lap Dec. 15 and confided in him their Christmas wishes at a party thrown especially for them called, “A Dance with Santa.” The children and their families danced to Christmas music, enjoyed dinner and desserts, opened Christmas presents, made festive arts and crafts, and even enjoyed a puppet show put on by the 11th Commandment Puppeteers.

The party took place at Manassas Baptist Church and was hosted by Betsy Mooney, president and founder of a non-profit organization called New World Horizons. Mooney had wanted to organize an event like “A Dance with Santa” for a while. In December she finally had the opportunity to do it. “Through the years we have come to realize that the families with special needs children do not get the opportunities to socialize and network as much as they should,” said Mooney, an alumna of Seton School in Manassas. “We believe low-key, fun social events are a great way to promote family time for them. We were pleasantly surprised by the number of people who donated to the dance, and that is what made it all possible.”

Mooney reached out to other alumni as well as current Seton students inviting them to volunteer to serve food and drinks, assist with crafts, and dance with the children.

“(The Seton students) added a great festive spirit,” said Mooney.

Mooney received positive feedback from the children’s families and is excited for next December’s party, as well as other fun activities for children with special needs. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019