Santa Claus pulled up to the Montgomery American Legion Post 251 Sunday in a fire truck - much to the delight of Kate O'Brien.
When a man in a red suit and a white beard shows up, that usually means gifts, and old St. Nick didn't disappoint.
O'Brien, 15, sat between Mr. and Mrs. Claus in the basement of the Legion hall while gifts were handed to her.
Kate, daughter of Jim and Cathy O’Brien, of Montoursville, opens gifts with the help of Mrs. Claus. O’Brien was adopted by the American Legion Riders’ Post 251 and received an early visit from Santa, gifts and snacks. Her family also received funds to help with bills.
Gail O’Brien, of South Williamsport talks to her granddaughter, Kate, and guides her over to a table of open gifts on Sunday.
Jim O’Brien helps readjust reindeer ears on his daughter’s head on Sunday afternoon at a Christmas party held in her honor by the American Legion Riders of Post 251 in Montgomery.
Among her early Christmas presents were Uno cards, a Bean Bag Toss & Tic Tac Toe game, crayons, and a Jumbo Slot Savings bank.
"The gifts are so perfect for her," said her father, Jim O'Brien, of Montoursville. "They are exactly what she likes to do."
The presents came courtesy of the American Legion Riders Adopt-A-Child Program.
Each year, the group designates a child to be the recipient of their fundraising efforts.
All told, the group raised about $500 for gifts for O'Brien, a seventh-grade McCall Middle School student, who suffers from Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, a rare and severe form of of childhood onset epilepsy.
There is no cure for LGS, which is characterized by frequent seizures, behavior disturbances and moderate to severe cognitive dysfunctions.
Her father couldn't have been more grateful, not only for what Legion Riders did for his daughter but for his entire family, which includes his wife, Cathy.
The group raised money for the family, victimized by flooding along Route 87 last year.
"Our house was pretty much destroyed last September (2011)," he said.
Kate's grandmother, Gail, wiped away tears as the gifts were being handed out.
"I just can't believe it," she said. "They've done so much."
American Legion Riders Treasurer Donna Neitz said a steak cookout in September at the Legion attended by more than 100 people went a long way toward helping raise funds for the program this year.
A big challenge, she said, is finding a child to designate for the program.
American Legion Riders President Tim Ranck said the program started in 2008 and the hope is to continue with it.
"We are just really, really grateful," Jim O'Brien said.