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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Christmas joy and excited smiles were in abundance Saturday, Dec. 7, when around 250 local children visited Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre during the annual Morning with Santa. 

Sponsored by the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Auxiliary, Morning with Santa featured arts and crafts, face-painting, snacks and Christmas music by Frankie Gervasi. Each attending child met Santa Claus and received a gift donated by the N.E. Federation of Clubs, an organization comprised of regional motorcycle clubs. 

Geisinger employees and auxiliary members were joined by volunteers from Misericordia University, Kistler Elementary School and Pittston Area High School. Volunteers dressed in the spirit of the holiday season, and some were in costume as Disney characters and Christmas legends like The Nutcracker, Mrs. Claus and Santa’s elves. 

Gift-bags were distributed to each child, and families were invited to pick from a selection of winter coats, hats and gloves before heading home. Coats were donated by senior members of the Pittston Area National Honor Society, which held a coat drive to gather warm clothing for families in need. 

Geisinger auxiliary member and Morning with Santa chair Laine Martin said the event is growing year to year. 

“This event is one of the yearly highlights for the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Auxiliary,” Martin said. “To have the opportunity to spend time with the local community and for them to allow us to bring them early holiday-season cheer is a blessing, and we’re grateful for the time and effort given by our volunteers.”

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a Research Institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus with a family.
From left, Mrs. Claus (Alma McGarry) and Santa Claus (Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre Food Services supervisor Frank Harrison) greet Camryn Townes, 1, and Prasais Townes, 8, of Wilkes-Barre recently at the Morning with Santa at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre. 
Children line up to meet Santa.
Local families lined up on a recent morning to meet Santa Claus and a host of other characters at the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Auxiliary’s annual Morning with Santa. Approximately 250 children got to meet Santa, participate in holiday-themed activities, and receive a gift donated by the N.E. Federation of Clubs.
Santa and his helpers.
Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and the elves prepare to greet children recently at Geisinger South-Wilkes-Barre. Pictured, from left, are Misericordia University nursing student Robin Erb, Alma McGarry, Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre Food Services supervisor Frank Harrison, Misericordia University nursing student Candace Balavage, and Misericordia University nursing student Liz Gurzynski. 
A group photo with Santa and the children.
Volunteers from Geisinger, the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Auxiliary, Misericordia University, Kistler Elementary School, and Pittston Area High School gather recently at the annual Morning with Santa at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.