It was all smiles at Fota House this morning as a convoy of more than 40 vehicles brought some very special visitors to meet Santa Claus.
26 vintage cars were flanked by fire engines, garda vans and a half dozen garda motorbikes as they transported specially chosen children from CUH, as part of the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club (CCHCC) annual Christmas outing.
Dozens of children and their families were greeted by Mickey and Minnie Mouse and a host of elves and other characters at the hospital this morning, as they gathered for their big day out.
Between today and tomorrow, more than 200 sick and deserving children from hospitals and community groups across the city will be brought to Fota for a day of fun, entertainment and the all-important chat with the man in red.
‘Scrubs’, the hospital staff choir, sang carols as the families were matched with drivers to take them to Fota, where a host of other volunteers were waiting.
CCHCC chairperson John Looney thanked all the volunteers for their time and the year-long fundraising efforts that support all the club’s work. The Cork City Fire Brigade, Cork County Fire Brigade, Cork Airport police and gardaí from stations all around the city gave their time to give the group a dream day out.
Susan O’Sullivan from Blarney said daughters Aoife (5) and Ciara Jane (3) were so excited they struggled to sleep the night before.
Like many of the families they had dressed up for the big day in matching Christmas dresses. Everyone from the volunteer drivers to staff to the Lord Mayor himself joined in with a Christmas jumper or hat to kick start the festive season.