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12/7/15news article

Walmart, Sam's Club associates bring Santa for special visit

santa and loganSanta made a special stop at Dayton Children’s Hospital today, to help local Walmart and Sam’s Club associates bring smiles to the children. The associates filled bags to the brim with toys and games, then loaded them on wagons for Santa to take room to room, delivering to each good little boy and girl. Along to deliver the gift bags were several former Ohio State University alumni football players - James Cotton, Tim Williams, Ross Oltorik and Donnie Evege - and former Cincinnati Bengals football players Jim Breech, Ickey Woods and Ira Hillary. Even Olaf the Snowman stopped by to lend a limb.

The associates didn’t stop there – they also delivered cookie trays to the hospital staff. Walmart and Sam’s Club associates came from all local stores - Dayton, Centerville, Beavercreek, Xenia, Miamisburg, Huber Heights, Urbana, Piqua, Springfield, Bellefontaine, Troy and Richmond, Indiana areas.

“This means so much to our kids and families,” says Lexi Kopilchack, Children’s Miracle Network manager at Dayton Chidlren's. “The look on their faces as Santa comes in with a bag bigger than them, filled with toys, is enough to make anyone cry. But seconds later you are laughing, as a toddler yanks the hat off Santa’s head or a preschooler tugs on his beard to make sure it’s real!”

santa and girl

“This is our 15th year doing this at Dayton Children’s and it gets bigger and better every year,” says Eric Heigel, gneral manager of the Sam's Club in Centerville. “We love to see the joy we can bring to the children and to their parents – who always love to see their child so happy. Anything we can do to help take their minds off being in the hospital this time of year is worth it.”

santa

For more information, contact:
Stacy Porter
Communications specialist
Phone: 937-641-3666
newsroom@childrensdayton.org