Santa Visits Special Needs Students

<p>Santa and Edward the Elf</p>

Santa and Edward the Elf

Elementary students in Yakima get a surprise visit from 'ol Saint Nick today.

Special ed students at Gilbert Elementary had the chance to meet with Santa Claus and his helper, Edward the Elf.

Two members from the Kiwanis Club are visiting over 180 students with special needs across the Yakima School District this week -- it's part of a tradition started over 20 years ago by former club member, Jerry Henderson.

Henderson passed away 5 years ago, and members wanted to continue the tradition.

"He always believed, as we do, that kids with special needs can't go down to the mall to see Santa Clause; it's too noisy, it's just too difficult for the families," said Spencer Hatton, "So, Jerry said 'I'm bringing Santa Claus to the special ed kids. And he did."

Santa and Edward the Elf also stopped by Martin Luther King Junior Elementary earlier this afternoon.