Teacher, students enjoy holiday lunch at Walnut Room

December 16, 2009 (CHICAGO) A teacher made sure the students, who are physically and mentally challenged, have this special day. And, this year, the staff at the Walnut Room chipped in to pay for it.

Wheelchair-bound teacher Debbie Kim, of Wilma Rudolph Learning Center, did not want her students to go without experiencing Christmas. For the second year, a group of her students who are physically and health impaired spent the afternoon at a special holiday lunch at Macy's Walnut Room under the traditional Christmas tree.

"All the lights are just so overwhelming and beneficial for the children, very stimulating visually," said Kim.

Kim says that last year Macy's human resource manager Paulette Yetter was so touched by the children that she paid for the lunch. Two weeks ago she received an unexpected call from Yetter saying Macy's employees did a fundraiser to pay for this year's lunch.

"These children came here last year and they had the memory of being here at Macy's for Christmas last year that really made their holiday special. And I wanted to make sure they could feel that same specialness this year," said Yetter. "We as a store got together and put together a special menu and we had some funds we were able to use for this very special time to support her and the children."

"It's overwhelming, it's a great, huge honor and I'm so excited for my children," Kim said.

Kim says the children who never get a chance to eat out were treated to lunch and an afternoon of play and fun.

"I like the Christmas tree and I like Santa," said Qetzel Gonzalez, Wilma Rudolph student.

Yetter planned more surprises for the 7 and 8-year-olds. They got to meet Santa and take a picture with him.

"I want the children to know they can believe and that their dreams can come true," said Yetter.

At the end of the day, Macy's gave each child a goodie bag filled with gifts to take home.

Copyright © 2024 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.