Olivia Charron from Murrayville and her friend Gabriella Hernandez from North Otter got all dressed up for the annual inclusive Christmas breakfast with Santa at the Langley Golf and Banquet centre on Saturday (Dec. 7).
Olivia wore a sparkly gold dress, while Gabrielle was in holiday red.
Moms Chantelle Hernandez and Stacy Charron looked on, smiling, as the wide-eyed four-year-olds had a one-on-two chat with Mrs. Claus.
They were among hundreds of parents and kids who took part in the annual event staged by Inclusion Langley Society Child Development Services, which helps parents of kids with special needs.
Olivia, who was born two months prematurely, has gone on to thrive, meeting all her developmental milestones.
“I’m just excited that the money raised here goes back to the program,” Mom Stacy enthused.
“It’s a magical time of year and it supports such a great cause,” Chantelle added.
The event is primarily for families and children who have been assisted by the society, Inclusion Langley supervisor Cora Boecker explained, to give children with extra needs a breakfast with Santa that offers a safe place.
“We know that for some kids, going into malls can be a bit tricky,” Boecker observed.
“There’s lots of families who come back year after year.”
This year, there were three seatings of 165 each at the event, which raises between $5,000 and $10,000 for the society.
“We’re sold out for the first time ever and we have a wait list of 40,” Boecker told the Langley Advance Times.
She couldn’t say whether a fourth seating might be added next year.
READ MORE: A special Santa breakfast in Langley
Langley Association for Community Living provides support and services to children with special needs and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.
In April of 2017, the Langley Association for Community Living and the Langley Child Development Centre merged services under the name Inclusion Langley Society.
More photos of the event may be viewed online.