The evening before there stood several Santa's helpers (volunteers) who had gathered to prepare tables, chairs, Christmas tree, decorations, stage for the coming choirs and let us not forget a place for Mr. & Mrs. Claus to sit and greet parents and children. The next few hours Santa's helpers were busy decorating as they listened to music in the background supplied by Mr. Jim Motter, Music Teacher at Maplewood Elementary School and discussing, was this done and that done and don't forget to do that. There was just a brief mention of a winter storm that was approaching from the southwest, but as optimistic as we were, we knew that Santa would not let the children down. He would find a way to bring Mrs. Claus safely to our event. It was not going to be on Friday, the 13th. One last check and we all agreed that Christmas in Waynedale was ready for Santa's arrival the following morning.
Having gone to bed after listening to the weather reports from several local stations, I will say there was doubt that Santa would not have an easy trip to greet everyone, for the forecast was not looking promising. Well, waking up bright and early, I opened the curtains and yes as promised there was snow, however, I could not tell how much, so into my work cloths I scrambled for there was not time to waste. I knew I had to clear my driveway, brush off the snow from my vehicle, have a good breakfast, gather some final items for Santa and trot down the road to Maplewood Elementary. To my surprise, when I went outside there was not a lot of snow and cleaning it off was not hard at all. Although it was still snowing, I wondered how Santa would be able to land when at the moment there was thick cloud cover and visibility was not really good. Then I remembered that he had a secret weapon guiding his sleigh, right, it was "Rudolph" the red nose reindeer. So, I just said to myself you just get yourself together and Santa will be in good hands.
Arriving back into my warm house to have a quick breakfast, the phone started ringing off the hook. Are we still having the event? Will it be delayed? I assured everyone that called, the program was still on and I would see them at Maplewood. Then the phone call came and good news the Fort Wayne Community School Maintenance crew was at Maplewood Elementary cleaning the parking lot of snow. We cannot say enough for the support that they gave to us from starting Friday afternoon through Saturday midday.
Well, leaving my driveway, I realized that the snow was coming down much harder and again doubt entered my mind as to Mr. & Mrs. Claus' arrival. Driving through Waynedale there was very little traffic on the main roads. Keeping a positive attitude, I drove down Bluffton Road following several automobiles, it was kind of a parade as we all turned onto Maplewood Road and then into Maplewood Elementary. Well, as we greeted each other, we were also greeted by the maintenance person from the school who was very kind as she was cleaning off the sidewalk so that we could carry in the things that Santa had told us to gather. As you could imagine, the snow was now coming down very hard and we all had concerns. Not to let that worry us, we went about turning on the Christmas lights, finishing putting on the final touches in preparation for children to arrive.
Volunteers began coming in to help and they were Cheryl Connett, Brad Campbell, Camille Garrison, Beulah Matczak, Betty Matczak, Sam Matczak, Ed McClehahn, Linda McClenahan, Becky McClure, Ed McClure, Tom Motter and John Smeltzer. We also had Todd Mason and Doug Greener from Public Service Credit Union, two Fort Wayne Policemen, Sgt. Luke Nathalang from the Indiana State Police, SunSon (face painting) from High Hope Clowns, Darlene McCartney who did caricature painting and Masters of Cosmetology face painters.
Everyone was set and waiting for Mr. & Mrs. Claus arrival and they did not let us down. In they came dusting off the snow greeting us as if we were are next door neighbors and preparing themselves to greet the excited children. We had 38 adults and 60 children who braved the elements to visit with Santa. They were not disappointed either, once they were fitted with their Christmas hat provided by Kingston Residence on Winchester Road, they told Santa what they wanted for Christmas, and received an assortment of candy canes, candies, cookies, chips and Public Service Credit Union who gave a variety of gifts to both the children and adults. They were entertained by Wayne High School choir lead by Mrs. Katie Herzberg and Maplewood Elementary choir lead by Mr. Tom Motter. We all cannot say enough for the music and talent that was entertaining to all. Thank you Mr. Motter for all the work and effort that you put forth to make a cold outside be so warm inside. Well it became time for Mr. & Mrs. Claus to move onto their next visit so with a very loud Merry Christmas to everyone, they were off as fast as they arrived.
The winners for the drawings:
50/50 Ed & Linda McClenahan
Stocking of toys Aston Buffenbarger (9), Savanna Ruiz (9), Ethan Cour, Grace Culp (9) and baby Giffin Mason
A BIG Thank You to 1ST Source Bank for all the aid that was given towards this event. The committee members who work behind the scenes to insure a successful event Brad Campbell, Cheryl Connett, Beulah Matczak, and Ed McCure.
Thank you Broadview and McNamara Florist for the beautiful poinsettias that were donated for table decorations. They are now giving joy at someone's home.
JW Signs what can we say, you folks are the greatest. You go above and beyond.
Bob Eddy, thank you for doing many things for us behind the scenes.
WCIT would like to greatly thank all of the sponsors who graciously gave donations so that this event could take place in Waynedale. It is through your support that we are able to put on these events for our community. We all are Waynedale proud and with that thought, WCIT would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Joyful New Year.