breaking news

Clark County students might return to schools in wake of ECOT closure

Springfield holiday party brings joy to 200 students with disabilities


Close to 200 children from across Clark County celebrated an early Christmas on Monday during an annual party that is nearing a century of serving local families.

Springfield’s Rotary Club hosted its annual Christmas Party at Wittenberg University’s HPER Center, providing games, activities and a chance to meet Santa for 190 area children with disabilities. The event is now in its 95th year, said Bonita Heeg, executive director of Springfield Rotary’s Services to People with Disabilities Program.

PHOTOS: Springfield Rotary Club’s 95th Christmas Party

“This is a real heritage for us to serve on the shoulders of past Rotarians and serve our community like they did,” Heeg said of the annual party.

The 190 children who attended the event from area schools made the largest crowd the organization has ever served, she said.

READ MORE: Springfield woman works to dispel myths about Islam

Along with a chance to meet Santa, the students who crowded into the facility had a chance to play with therapy animals, dance to Christmas music and received an early Christmas gift during their visit with Santa.

The Christmas party is one of two major events hosted annually, said Bill Brougher, Rotary president and general manager at Valco Industries. The organization has also hosted a food truck rally in the summer in recent years. But the Rotarians and their families have a long history with the Christmas party, which offers a day of fun and activities for some children who might not get that chance otherwise, Brougher said.

RELATED: Former bank employee opens new Springfield food truck

Rotarians, their families and other volunteers all chip in to make sure each child goes home with a gift each year, he said.

“It’s easy for the Rotarians to be benevolent with their checkbooks,” Brougher said. “This brings a lot more joy to the disabled children in our community.”

DETAILS: Springfield officials want this new program to help seniors be healthy

Mickey Edwards, a Rotarian and food and beverage director at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Springfield, has been involved in the party for eight years.

“The best part is the joy of seeing their faces when they get their present from Santa,” Edwards said of the children.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Florida man dead after diving in underwater caves
Florida man dead after diving in underwater caves

A 50-year-old Florida man is dead after cave diving in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park this weekend, officials said. Davin Brannon, 53, of Dover, was diving in the Eagle’s Nest cave around noon Saturday when Hernando County Sheriff officials were called about a diver in distress. By the time crews arrived at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management...
Pope Francis jokes with cloistered nuns in Peru
Pope Francis jokes with cloistered nuns in Peru

Pope Francis drew appreciative laughter Sunday when he addressed cloistered nuns in a Peruvian church, Reuters reported. The nuns were given special permission to leave their convents to see the pontiff speak in Lima. Francis spoke to the 500 nuns, known as “contemplatives” because they rarely venture away from their convents, on his...
Clark County students might return to schools in wake of ECOT closure
Clark County students might return to schools in wake of ECOT closure

About 150 students in Clark County will need a new school after one of the largest online schools shut down on Friday. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is being closed effective immediately by its sponsor, according to Ohio Department of Education officials. “The Ohio Department of Education was informed this evening that the ESC of Lake...
Two coal train cars carrying 200,000 pounds of raw steel derails in Clark County
Two coal train cars carrying 200,000 pounds of raw steel derails in Clark County

Upper Valley Pike outside of Tremont City Road is blocked after two coal train cars carrying 200,000 pounds of raw steel derailed and landed on their side. The incident occurred before 2 p.m. Sunday at the 5100 block of Upper Valley Pike at the cross of Tremont City Road and St. Paris, according to German Twp. dispatch. German Twp. police are on the...
Toddler at center of Texas Amber Alert found by police, is safe
Toddler at center of Texas Amber Alert found by police, is safe

UPDATE, 1/21/2018, 1:56 P.M.: Texas police said the 18-month-old boy at the center of an Amber Alert was found safe northeast of his San Antonio home, around noon Sunday, KENS reported. The boy's father and suspect was found "in grave condition" due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police told KENS. The toddler, Aaron Joseph Concepcion...
More Stories