APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (VVNG.com) — Providence St. Mary Medical Center caregivers and their families were treated to a special visit this holiday season when Santa Claus landed at the hospital in style via a REACH Air Medical Services helicopter.
Santa’s visit, which included time for photos, was part of Providence St. Mary’s first-ever “Christmas on Candy Cane Lane” event that brought the hospital’s staff together for a day of joy and cheer.
“After three years in a pandemic, and amid another winter that we know will try our collective resolve, we wanted to give our caregivers something special this Christmas — something they could look back on fondly with their loved ones,” said Randall Castillo, chief executive for Providence St. Mary. “Thanks to our team that planned this event, we were able to do that.”
“Christmas on Candy Cane Lane” featured multiple themed booths created by departments at the hospital. The themes included everything from the Grinch and the “Candy Land” board game to classic holiday movies like “Christmas Vacation” and “A Christmas Story.”
As the night progressed, Providence St. Mary caregivers and their guests walked the Candy Cane Lane path and played games to win prizes that eventually filled the Christmas stockings they received at the start of the event.
Guests also received a tamale dinner, made hot chocolate with elves from the North Pole and posed for pictures with Santa, who brought toys for the children in attendance.
Providence St. Mary worked with REACH officials to secure Santa’s helicopter ride, according to Castillo, who said he wanted Saint Nick to arrive in style.
“We have a wonderful relationship with our REACH friends, who play a critical role in ensuring our patients receive timely care,” Castillo said. “I’m grateful that they could accommodate our request to give Santa an arrival that none of us will forget. REACH is a great, reliable partner, and I only see our relationship growing.”
The Candy Cane Lane event followed another Providence St. Mary first: The November lighting of the hospital and adjacent urgent care for Christmas.
Judy Wagner, Providence St. Mary’s chief mission integration officer, called the Christmas lights an example of the hospital living out its values.
“As part of a health care organization rooted in the Catholic faith and a desire to help all, we are always looking for ways to better serve the community,” Wagner said. “Our hope is that these Christmas lights brighten our part of Apple Valley and the hearts of those in the High Desert who see them.”
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(source: Providence St. Mary Medical Center news release)