Christmas cheer started early for the children of Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club, with a day of festive fun and games at Fota House.

Two hundred and forty sick and vulnerable children, along with their families, travelled to Fota House yesterday to take part in the festivities.

Wrapped up in layers to beat the cold and accompanied by fire fighters, gardaí and Lord Mayor of Cork, Des Cahill, a motorcade escorted the children on their journey from the city.

Elsa, Dora the Explorer and Mickey Mouse were all on hand to greet the children on their arrival.

Fota House was transformed into a festive wonderland by volunteers for the occasion. In Santa’s room, each child had a chance to tell Mr and Mrs Claus what’s on their Christmas wish lists. The famous couple returned the favour, telling the children all of the good things they’d been told about them by their teachers and other sources.

 Jablonska and her mother Ewa meeting one of the many characters at the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club trip.
Jablonska and her mother Ewa meeting one of the many characters at the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club trip.

With all the kids taking part in the fun and games, clowns performed magic tricks and face painters added extra sparkle to the day. Each child came away with an early Christmas present and a framed photo.

“Each child is special here and everyone gets a chance to feel the magic, the volunteers come away just as exhilarated and excited for Christmas. It’s an incredible experience which is made so much more special by the wonderful families that take part every year,” said volunteer, Linda Cronin.

 Skye Worthington and her mother Colleen meeting Santa and Mrs Claus during the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club Fota House trip.
Skye Worthington and her mother Colleen meeting Santa and Mrs Claus during the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club Fota House trip.

Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club founder, John Looney, and his team have enhanced thousands of children’s lives over the past 18 years. Mr Looney said the day means everything to the children, who especially love seeing the characters.

The charity organises regular events for children from Cork University Hospital, the Mercy Hospital, St Gabriel’s and the Cork Deaf Association, like its annual trip to Disney Land Paris.

Donations to the charity can be made to the Bank of Ireland, Wilton, Co. Cork, sort code: 90-28-05 and A/C number: 34653800.

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