Sioux Falls Fire Teams Up With Santa On Christmas Eve
Deliver Presents To Several Medical Care Facilities In Sioux Falls
On Christmas Eve, a fire truck pulled up to Sanford Children’s Hospital.
On Saturday, however, it was acting as a reindeer-less sleigh.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue delivered Santa and presents to Sanford, Avera Health, and Lifescape among other facilities on Christmas Eve.
They planned a surprise to patients who had to spend their holiday in a hospital.
One such patient was nine-year old Samuel Miller Denton.
He’s battling Leukemia after it returned following a three year remission.
He said he was expecting some visitors this afternoon.
The man in red, however, was a surprise.
“That was interesting to see to see him and fun to see him,” said Miller Denton.
Samuel said he is an aspiring ballet dancer, who claims to be the most flexible person.
His mother, Kelly Denton, said it’s her son’s life source.
“That’s his motivation. That’s what keeps him going,” said Denton.
A letter was written to Samuel is from Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jay Titus.
A driving force behind the program, he is fighting a bout of cancer himself.
Firefighter Donnie Hilsenroth said he is their motivation to keep this idea going.
“We just want people to be aware of what Jay has done for twenty, twenty plus years ago to start this program to put smile on kids’ faces and hopefully we’re one big family to help Jay pull through this,” said Hilsenroth.
For some families like Samuel’s, the holidays can be more difficult.
Hilsenroth said their goal is to give them something to smile about.
“The big surprise on the kids face, the little boy their eyes get so big, the little girl whatever toys they’re like oh my gosh it’s a big surprise,” said Hilsenroth.
In the end, it’s the families that appreciate the visit the most.
“They’re already our heroes because of all they do but it was sweet, really, really nice. It just means a lot because it’s hard being here Christmas Eve so it was really sweet for him,” said Denton.
Their program to deliver gifts to several hospital facilities on Christmas Eve is due in part to donations from the fire rescue’s “Step Up for Heroes” event and Local 8-14 Union.