A group of 32 crippled children ‒ some using crutches, others wearing braces and still others being assisted by older children ‒ invaded the toy departments of the Brooklyn department stores district yesterday to have a talk with Santa Claus. The children were chaperoned by Mrs. Nicholas Matheis, president of the Parents Council for Crippled Children, and their two teachers, Mrs. Harriet Palmer and Miss Jessica Bond, who instruct the youngsters in their classrooms of Public School 67, Central Ave and Olmstead Place, Glendale.
Their going down was a subterfuge to keep the youngsters away from their classroom. For while they were gone other members of the Parents Council were busily engaged in decorating the classroom with holly and streamers of green and placing ornaments and electric lights on the Christmas tree, that extended from floor to ceiling.
It was almost 2 o'clock when the youngsters returned to their classrooms, and as they entered they beheld a spectacle that made them clap their hands and shout with joy.
While they were downtown, all had confidentially told Santa Claus just what they desired to bring them for Christmas. Beside the tree they beheld a real live Santa Claus, and to their minds quickly came the thought that the old fellow had decided to call on them before Christmas, lest the task of visiting many thousands of homes should be so great that he would not reach Glendale. Arthur Haerer appeared as Santa Claus, and he carried a bag that was filled to overflowing with toys.
With one of the teachers at the piano, the youngsters sang the Christmas hymns that they had been rehearsing for several weeks and then Santa Claus started to hand out the large assortment of gifts. All were pleased with the liberal share they received, and the youngsters moved the kind-hearted Santa Claus to tears as they pressed their warm lips to his cheek. It was a joyful day for the kiddies.
Today the kiddies came in for another unexpected treat when Paul C. Josephs, a member of the Parents Council, gave them a full course chicken dinner. The covers were laid in the lunchroom of the school, where each day the youngsters are fed, and the tables were decorated with cut flowers and each child found a favor at his or her plate.