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[PHOTOS] Christmas Came To Newtown Saturday

"It was the single best experience of our lives and for a few hours Newtown was smiling again."

After the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Lynn Samperi wanted to do something. She and her husband Gary always celebrate the Christmas season by working as Santa and Mrs. Claus, and she wanted to bring some holiday joy to the children of Newtown.

With the help of Newtown Patch and town officials, a party was quickly organized and set for Saturday Dec. 22 at The Youth Academy. As word spread, donations poured in, .

"It was simply incredible," Lynn wrote in an email to Patch after the party. "So many people. Many shared some difficult stories, several collapsed in our arms. Children and adults made ornaments, edible snowmen and candy necklaces. There were 15 carolers from the Green Farms School that were sensational.

"The spirit was so strong. Everyone received a Santa hat, guardian angel pin, green ribbon and multiple teddy bears. It was so much more than I could expect. Lobster Craft stayed all day and supplied 1,000+ hotdogs to the crowds. Mr. and Mrs. Claus were very busy dancing and singing. We hugged so many people.

"After we left we were contacted by all the volunteers who are now changed forever. It was the single best experience of our lives and for a few hours Newtown was smiling again."

[Editor's note: This article was originally posted on Dec. 24. The publication date was changed for layout purposes.]

hjhint December 25, 2012 at 01:40 PM
This was a fantastic event! My family loved it! It definitely helped bring the Christmas spirit back! Santa and Mes. Claus were amazing! They really shared their love! They even took time to sit down and color with my 2 year old at the coloring table! Thank you!
Jon Drewes December 25, 2012 at 02:12 PM
I created this collage for the families that lost their loved ones this holiday season in Newtown, CT. Please view and share this photo so the memory of the 26 lives on and will never be forgotten. http://www.j2productionz.com/newtownct.cfm

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