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Woman's Club Christmas dance brings joy

The Wasco Woman's Club hosted its annual Christmas dance for special needs students from Wasco High School. Almost 35 students attended, enjoying music, pizza, cookies, gifts and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

Diane Waterhouse said, "It's hands-down the best thing the Woman's Club does."

Club Ppresident Jill Drescher stated, "We've been doing this since 2014. It has evolved over the years."

Ahead of the party, the students made a wish list of what present they wanted, and the Woman's Club provided the gifts they each requested.

"The kids love it. Just seeing them dancing and smiling is contagious. It just warms my heart to see them so happy and receiving their gifts," Petra Rueda said.

The dance floor was alive with the music of DJ Boomdogg, who played Christmas music and popular songs both in English and Spanish.

Alison Hall, principal for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, stated, "It's something they've been asking about for months, and it's such a blessing that the community wants to do this for the kiddos."

Sukie Martinez is proud to be a part of the Woman's Club and said that this event encouraged her to join.

"There's no greater reward than to make these kids feel extra special. The party alone is a gift for the students."

She added that it is one of her favorite projects.

"It's personal to me because I worked with special needs kids before, and I know how this impacts them and their families."

Teacher Leo Chavez said, "I think it's beautiful. It's nice that the club hosts this every year. It's my fifth time participating with the kids."

He added, "The whole event is amazing and festive. The best part was how the students received Santa Claus. Everyone was so excited. For them, it was almost like seeing a celebrity."

Mrs. Santa Claus Lori Eskew shared, "It's moments like this that make me want to give back to Wasco by bringing cheer to the kids and adults."

"The Woman's Club does a really good job with this event."

Mr. Santa Claus Richard Eskew has 26 years of experience playing the role of Santa.

"This event in Wasco is one of our most treasured," Mr. Eskew said.

Volunteer John F. Kennedy commented, "I think it's great for the kids. They were so happy when Santa came out. It was unreal when he walked in. These kids really get into every holiday, but this is a highlight for them."

Teacher Joanne Garza said the event was fun for the kids.

"It brings out their inner child. They are kids at heart, even if some are older. It touches them. They like the presents, and it is a good tradition."

Parent Maria Cabrera shared that the party was unique for the kids.

"This is our second time, and the kids leave feeling happy and in the holiday spirit each time."

Another parent, Maria Isabel Delgadillo, stated, "It makes a difference in their lives. It sends the message that the community cares for them."

KCSOS program director Justin Thompson said that it is an amazing opportunity for the kids.

"It's been going on for a long time, and they look forward to it all year long."

He added, "It's special because it gets them out of the classroom, getting them together in a normal activity and being supported by the community. I think it's really important as well."

Elizabeth Gonzalez said of her daughter Gabby, "I liked the fact she was so involved. She was dancing non-stop. It was really sweet for the kids."

The event ended with the students taking home goody bags full of cookies.

"It was a big success, and we expect next year to be an even brighter celebration for them," Martinez said.


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