Children at St. Margaret's Center get special treat

December 16, 2017 11:14 PM

ALBANY -- Words alone cannot describe the joy and anticipation from children at the St. Margaret's Center waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus and the Renegade Pigs Motorcycle Club.

This year was too cold for a bike ride. But that didn't stop the bikers from taking the journey by car from many parts of the country.

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"These kids, when Santa goes in to see them, they light up," said Bob Whitney of the Renegade Pigs. "It really tugs at our hearts."

The St. Margaret's Center is a pediatric and young adult skilled nursing facility with nearly 100 residents, many of them with profound physical disability. 12-year-old Lilly Cash said it was a car accident at five years old that also took her mother's life.

“I was five and my mother died when she was 25,” Cash said.

Now she looks forward to spending time with her father and the rest of her family. That's what she wants most for Christmas.

The visit from the Renegade Pigs is a quite a treat for her and all the children.

"It means the world to them. There's excitement. You can see throughout he hallway, everything is decorated," said Anne Schneider Costigan of the Center For Disability.

The motorcycle club made up of former law enforcement officers say their mindset is to help and give back. They've been doing the event for the past 17 years with Santa Claus himself greeting every single child.

“It makes my heart just melt. I love the kids. Always have. It's something that if we don't give back, what do we do,” said Santa Claus.

Santa and club members also handed out tons of gift bags with clothes, socks and other necessities and stuffed animals. Santa says coming here also puts life into perspective about what's really important this time of year.

“It puts everything right into perspective, the way it should be all year round,” he said.


WNYT Staff

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