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Santa rides Griffon helicopter to Kingston General Hospital

Jolly Old St. Nick traded in his reindeer and sleigh for another mode of transportation, with help from the Canadian military.

Santa Claus landed on the roof of Kingston General Hospital Dec. 2 in a CH146 Griffon helicopter with help from the 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron based out of CFB Saint Hubert.

The man in red delivered 50 teddy bears to kids receiving care in various areas of the hospital. Funds used to purchase the bears were donated by staff at 1 Wing.

The visit is part of Operation HO HO HO, which organizers say left “big smiles on the faces of kids, families, and staff.”

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“Holidays are a special time, filled with love and laughter,” says Col. Mike Babin, Commander, 1 Wing, “but for some, it can also be stressful spending much of their time in the hospital caring for a sick child. It’s important for us to be good members of the community.

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“So when Santa called asking if 1 Wing could help him deliver holiday cheer to young patients at the KGH site, naturally I said yes.”

Kerri-Lee Bisonette, program manager of KHSC pediatrics, neonatal intensive care unit and Child Life Services, said the visit was “magical” for the children.

“Even though we eagerly anticipate this visit each year, we’re always thrilled when we finally get that call from 1 Wing offering to escort Santa directly to the hospital,” Bisonette said.

“It’s a magical experience for the kids and brings lots of positive holiday spirit to their hospital stay.”


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