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Little Fort Lions to host holiday party for kids

Updated: January 9, 2013 6:04AM

WAUKEGAN — The Little Fort Lions Club of Waukegan is gearing up for its annual holiday party for sight and hearing impaired children, something they’ve been doing for more than three decades.

On Dec. 13, the club will offer a lunch with entertainment at the Sunset House restaurant on Golf Road in Waukegan.

School buses will transport about 24 kids from Waukegan Unit School District 60 who are either sight or hearing impaired. The party guests will be with their teachers or advisers, according to Little Fort Lions Club President Norma Jensen.

Jensen said many of the notables invited usually attend the yearly event. Among the invitees are Mayor Robert Sabonjian, Police Chief Daniel Greathouse, Fire Chief Daniel Young and District 60 Superintendent Donaldo Batiste. “The mayor likes these parties,” said Jensen. “It should get crowded at the restaurant.”

Students will get to visit with a local clown who will be making balloon creations. There will be a lunch of hamburgers, fries, soft drinks and ice cream. “The restaurant owner’s wife usually comes out with a special dessert, too,” said Jensen.

Goodie bags filled with school supplies, fruit and candy will be handed out, and each one of the kids will get a quarter to deposit into a red Salvation Army kettle out in front of the restaurant, said the club president.

“They are so cute and the event is generally a lot of fun for them,” said Jensen. Kids participating come in all ages and range from grade school to high school students.

Peter Welsch, a retired Waukegan special education teacher and club member said the Little Fort Lions Club is 39 years old, and the holiday party for special needs students has been going on about 35 years.

Throughout the year, the club raises money to help people who are hearing and sight impaired, as well as those with diabetes. Last year, the Little Fort Lions gave a donation to the Special Education District of Lake County, said Welsch.

Fund-raising events for the club include the annual steak-and-eggs breakfast at the Waukegan Yacht Club held in February and candy day in October.

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