Christmas Magic at Rose-Mary

With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it's easy to forget the magic that the season can bring to children and adults alike. The staff and individuals at Rose-Mary were reminded of this joy when a simple event designed for photo opportunities turned into one of the most memorable nights of the year. Brad Wyner, the behavior support specialist, at Rose-Mary donned the big red suit and beard for the "Pictures with Santa" event. His co-worker Martha DiLorenzo played the part of Mrs. Claus and after a long day of work they headed into the party just hoping for a few good pictures to share with the individuals' families.

With each new person that sat down next to Santa, wide grins and Christmas cheer spread across their faces.  Wyner patiently gave each person necessary adjustment time and let them begin the engagement. Having a Santa who understood the individual needs and personality of each person he met with was amazing. Staff watched as children and adults who don’t usually make eye contact or show interest in their surroundings, became transfixed on the man in the suit. Smiles and hugs were being collected by the dozen and Santa, Mrs. Claus, and all other staff members in the room became increasingly rejuvenated. Everyone sang carols, drank cocoa, ate cookies, and joined together in merriment. The event didn't just result in "a few good pictures for Mom," but rather hundreds of truly joyous pictures that reminded everyone at Rose-Mary that slowing down, and actively enjoying time with another person is the best way to experience the magic of Christmas.

Rose-Mary is a non-profit organization separately incorporated under Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland. Established in 1922, Rose-Mary Center continues the ministry of Jesus Christ by nurturing individuals with intellectual disabilities and celebrating love, family, dignity and faith. Through residential, vocational, summer camp, and respite programs, Rose-Mary Center helps individuals to achieve lives of personal fulfillment become more self-reliant and realize their full potential as independent and integrated members of the community. Find out more at or

Lena Chapin

Director of Development at Rose-Mary Center and lover of all things Cleveland.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 5:34 PM, 01.05.2016