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Monday, April 22, 2024

Equal Fun for Everyone – Santa’s Helpers at Santa House

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[shareprints gallery_id=”37022″ gallery_type=”filmstrip” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”xlarge” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” captions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]As youngsters, we asked: How can Santa possibly do it all by himself? Then we were told about the elves, and to this day, we have enormous respect for Santa’s helpers.

“Ben” is one of Santa’s helpers. Ben is not a real person, but rather a fictionalized amalgamation of many real-life helpers right here in Naperville. Ben works for Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) and provides inclusion support for individuals with disabilities who register for Naperville Park District programs.

Each holiday season, Ben looks forward to working Special Needs Nights at Santa House, a magical structure that pops up along the Riverwalk at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street (thanks to the Naperville Park District). This year, Santa has set aside the evenings of December 2nd , 3rd and 4th (5-8pm) to receive visits exclusively from children with special needs and their families.

Why special times for these kids? Because children with special needs can become overwhelmed with the holiday bustle, and parents appreciate WDSRA staff like Ben who understand their challenges. Ben might provide fun activities for the kids or simply reassure parents that their child’s behavior is indeed acceptable in this safe enviroment. Families also appreciate a little extra time with Santa where the whole family is welcome to share the joy.

Equal fun for everyone at Santa House!

Reservations for Special Needs Nights at Santa House fill up quickly. Admission is free. Photos available for purchase. Please register through the Naperville Park District at www.napervilleparks.org or (630) 848-5000.

For more information about WDSRA, visit www.wdsra.com.

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Terri Gregory
Terri Gregoryhttp://www.wdsra.com
Terri Gregory is Community Relations Supervisor for Western DuPage Special Recreation Association. WDSRA offers recreational opportunities for adults and children with special needs through programs and inclusion services. WDSRA is a cooperative extension of nine park districts. Almost 30 percent of WDSRA’s participants are from Naperville. Contact her at WDSRA via (630) 681-0962 or terrig@wdsra.com.
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