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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- If you notice Melissa Swift smiling, she'll tell you it's in large part due to her son, Ethan. The two laughed, dance and enjoyed meeting Santa Claus at the Kosair Charities' Christmas Party on Sunday.
Ethan was one of 350 children attending the holiday party meant to help underprivileged and special needs children have a special day. Many of the children who received gifts from Santa Claus might not have otherwise received a gift this Christmas, organizers said.
"We provide a Christmas party for children, some won't have another opportunity to receive a Christmas gift," said Jerry Ward with Kosair Charities.
"It's just nice to come here and say 'thank you' for everything they've done for our son," said Melissa Swift.
This is the 25th year for the party that helps provide a Christmas for special needs and underprivileged children.
Ethan, who has down syndrome, spent most of his Sunday taking pictures with clowns, but often spends a lot of time with doctors.
"He comes to Kosair for orthopedic care. Just a lot of his medical care from his down syndrome - Kosair is very involved with him," said Swift.
This party is more than a chance for Ethan to visit with Santa, it's a chance for the parents to chance scenery, to say thank you.
"One of the most rewarding things is to watch the parents faces when their child goes up to see Santa and receives a gift. It's a family issue - even the parents light up because they see their child smile," said Ward.