Holiday of Smiles
Hospitals are never a fun place to be, especially around the holidays. Having to spend the holidays in a hospital can be incredibly rough for children. The awe and wonder of the season is replaced by confusion and sadness, and a longing to be home with family.
Every year, the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation hosts Santa's Workshop in the Pediatric Cancer Ward of Sunrise Children's Hospital in Las Vegas. This year, Speedway Children's Charities was fortunate enough to partner with NCCF and bring their Holiday of Smiles program to Santa's Workshop.
The Holiday of Smiles program provided each child with a new pair of Croc's shoes, an AFLAC duck, an Auto-Trader.com car, a couple NASCAR die-cast cars and a backpack to carry it all home in. The Holiday of Smiles program was a small addition to the wonderful Santa's Workshop. The children were fitted with Croc's after visiting with Santa and receiving a gift from NCCF.
The ward was set up with various holiday stations for each child to visit. Children could paint Christmas ornaments, decorate sugar cookies, stuff a stocking with goodies or have their face painted by a festive holiday clown. A massage therapist also came out to give the parents, nurses and volunteers in the cancer ward the opportunity for a free back massage while the kids enjoyed the craft projects.
Several special guests came out to visit the kids and help with the Workshop. Besides a visit from Santa Claus, Miss Nevada USA Georgina Vaughan, Miss Nevada Teen USA Ileri Tunrareb, and Pit Boss, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway mascot, all spent time talking to the parents, helping the kids paint and decorate and spread a little holiday cheer.