The St. Francois County Health Center WIC Department held their annual Christmas party Thursday and it was open to all families with children under the age of 5.
WIC Coordinator Cate Reando said they had a line out the door waiting to get in to see Santa but it quickly died down after everyone got their pictures taken.
“It went really well,” said Reando. “I think we had more people than we were expecting and it was definitely a good turnout. The kids loved Santa and it was fun watching the excitement and their eyes light up when they came in the room to see him.”
Reando said Santa even had some gifts for each kid who came to visit.
“It was nice seeing everybody come and be here for their kids and their families,” said Reando. “It’s always just fun to see families outside the normal day-to-day atmosphere and interacting with their children at parties like this. It’s just always a good time.”
Santa said he was having a good time with the children and heard a lot of Christmas wishes.
Rebecca Knezik of Farmington brought out her 3-year-old daughter Ava Knezik for their first time. She said Ava was ecstatic the whole time.
“I think it’s a very nice thing to have for the children to come out and be able to visit Santa like this,” said Knezik, “also to give parents the chance to have one-on-one interaction with them and do the crafts, have a snack and visit with Santa and his elf.”
Knezik added she would definitely bring Ava back to future WIC parties and events.
Alicia Berry of Desloge had her 1-year-old daughter Judith Carter at the WIC party and while the girl was scared of Santa, she had a blast playing with her balloon and running around.
“It was a nice first-time experience and there is a lot of stuff for her to play with,” said Berry. “They gave out snacks and they are doing pictures this year. It’s great for low-income families. She really likes the magnets on the door and the balloons, they are very festive.”
Chandi House of Leadwood was also there for her first time with her 3-year-old daughter Aaliyah House.
“This was our first time and it was awesome,” said House. “She loves it and I’ve never seen her this happy. She loved the pictures and the balloons. She keeps going in the room where Santa is at, she really liked him. We would definitely come to something like this again.”
For more information on WIC visit St. Francois County WIC on Facebook or contact the St. Francois County Health Center at 573-431-1947.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com