Lemont resident Earl Anderson has been delighting children for more than 40 years in his role as Santa Claus. But for more than a decade, Anderson has donned his red suit and beard to help make the holidays a little brighter for children in need.
In 1999, Anderson and his family began The Jeff Anderson Children’s Foundation following the tragic loss of their beloved son. In memory of Jeff, the foundation raises money, collects donations and purchases toys for severely ill children and needy families in the area.
Since 2004, Happy Hands Methodist Preschool has participated in the Anderson’s Christmas mission project. On Dec. 5 and 6, more than 75 Happy Hands students had the opportunity to be a part of the project by bringing an unwrapped toy to school on the day of Santa’s visit.
The preschoolers were asked to choose a present they would truly love to give to another child their age, making their visits with Santa all the more meaningful. To the children’s delight, Santa was also there to hear what they want for Christmas this year.
“The childrens’ enthusiasm was shining through while visiting with Santa.” said Loryl Fisher, director of Happy Hands Preschool. “It’s a joy to see that they understand and grasp the spirit of giving.”
Happy Hands Methodist Preschool, a non-profit corporation established in 1968, was founded by Bessie Cluts and the Lemont United Methodist Church. The first class had 11 children. Current enrollment is 75 students in nine classes - a ratio of 10 students to one teacher.
Enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year will begin in March, which includes programs for young 3-year-old, 3-year-old and 4-year-old children. The preschool also offers an enrichment program for Pre-K students that provides advanced lessons in cooking, science, math and literacy.
For more information on Happy Hands Preschool, please visit www.happyhandslemont.com.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
There are plenty of ways to keep up on Lemont news: