Loretto Hospitalhosted its 23rd annual Visit with Santa on Saturday, December 7th at the Columbus Park Refectory.

The event brought holiday cheer, hope and Christmas presents to more than 1,500 children in the community. Kids and their families arrived early to get in line for unlimited cups of hot chocolate and view all the entertainment. Each child got the opportunity to share their special moment with Santa and walk away with a Christmas present.

The program has been successfully managed by Rep. Camille Lilly for most of its existence with the full support and sponsorship from Fortune 500 companies, elected officials and community-based organizations including: Discover Financial Services, Walgreens, Coca-Cola, Walmart, Greek Assumption Church, State Farm, the Chicago Park District, Loretto Hospital, the Loretto Hospital Foundation, State Senators Kimberly Lightford and Don Harmon, Commissioner Barbara McGowan, and 29th Ward Ald. Deborah Graham. Even Sister House Recovery Home provides support each year by lending more than 20 volunteers to complete registration.

Sponsors donated their time during the event, toys for the children and a gift for parents. This year —along with the a toy and a picture with Santa—kids received a stocking filled with candy and hats and gloves, plus parents received a special gift just for bringing their kids out to the event.

Dawn Ferencak

Dawn Ferencak likes to go behind the scenes when connecting with her customers to create ways to help make their businesses grow beyond their expectations. What she didn't expect, when she started working...