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Groups Join Forces to Throw Christmas Party for Children with Disabilities

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The two groups make sure that these kids enjoy the holiday season The two groups make sure that these kids enjoy the holiday season
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Every year during the holidays, the Charlottesville-Albemarle Fraternal Order of Police and the Piedmont Shrine Club join forces to throw a special Christmas party for families of children with disabilities.

The celebration on Sunday, December 2, put a smile on everyone's face, but the hard work done year-round by Shriners leaves a positive impact that will last a lifetime.

Shriners plays a critical role in many people’s lives, and one family in particular has a lot to celebrate this holiday season thanks to the group’s help.

For Beth Sellers, this event is more than just a Christmas party.

"She walks now, she walked in here," Sellers said.

Her daughter, Taylin, has a condition called arthrogryposis, which means some of her joints are locked in one position.

"When Taylin was five years old, she had been recently adopted and all the doctors we went to in Virginia said she would never walk - get her a good wheelchair and make her comfortable,” Sellers said.

But now, thanks to Shriners’ hospitals and doctors, 11-year-old Taylin can now walk to Santa.

“We found Shriners Philadelphia after she was home for five and a half months, and the doctors said there's no reason she can't walk." The area’s fraternal order of police and the Piedmont Shrine Club have been partnering for years to put on this holiday celebration for children with disabilities.

"Our hospital kids, they get treated at one of the 22 hospitals throughout North America and the Shriners are very pleased and proud to get them to those hospitals and bring them back," Brian LaFontaine, a member of the Piedmont Shrine Club, said.

"Those children and families, they're facing a lot of difficulties with their health and so forth and we're able to help provide them with just a two-hour window of opportunity just to just celebrate the holiday season,” Mike Wagner, the president of the fraternal order of police, said. “That's what it really is, it's all about the heart."

For the Sellers family, this day is a celebration of much more than just the holiday season.

"It's amazing for us,” Sellers said. “It's been a long journey. She didn't start walking independently until she was nine years old, but it's so important for her so - and to my mom's heart, and it's important to me."

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Fraternal Order of Police and the Piedmont Shrine Club say they host the annual party to bring joy to families for those suffering, and they will continue to host the party every year.