It is the most wonderful time of the year.
For 14 consecutive years, Columbus’ Beightler Armory has hosted Fairhaven School and other Madison County children with disabilities for their annual holiday spectacular.
There were games, crafts, hand/face-painting, but what the students were looking forward to most was the visit from the jolly guy in the red suit.
For many Decembers, Beightler Armory was synonymous with the Columbus schools that serve children with disabilities, but Madison County youngsters have been the grateful recipients since 2004.
This year’s Madison County students included ones from Fairhaven, West Jefferson, Jonathan Alder and Madison-Plains multiple disabilities classrooms.
Upon arrival, the kids were greeted by National Honor Society students from Hamilton Township High School — who not only facilitated games and crafts, but also dressed up as beloved holiday characters such as a Gingerbread Man and Frosty the Snowman.
Much preparation goes into this event by the military and civilian personnel of Beightler. Through fundraisers like their popular Chili Cook-Off, the nonprofit organization provides each child with a special gift presented by Santa himself.
As usual, Santa did not disappoint as he was adorned in his trademark red suit, and iconic white beard — walking in to thunderous applause.
And for the kids, they were the beneficiaries of yet another one of the countless acts of kindness done by military personnel every day.