Thanks to a group of Heber-Overgaard volunteers who call themselves Angels for Seniors, Santa Claus visited residents at Manzanita Manor Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Wednesday.
The non-profit organization, now in its third year of operation, was founded by Judy Altstatt.
"My mother lives alone, and I couldn't stand the thought of her sitting there on Christmas staring out the window," Altstatt said. "So I thought, if I couldn't get to her, I'd try to do the best I could up here. The idea is that no senior be alone at Christmas."
Altstatt was joined at Manzanita Manor by a small group of volunteers, including husband, Tom, as Santa, and members of the Rim Country Cruisers with their antique cars.
Santa visited each resident's room and the dining hall at Manzanita, delivering bags filled with candy and small gifts. Then, residents interested in seeing the classic cars were bundled up and taken outside.
Altstatt said making Christmas fun for seniors is very gratifying, and she'd like to see a chapter of Angels for Seniors formed in Payson.
"We were out delivering stockings to the widows and widowers in the Heber-Overgaard area, and this 97-year-old man started jumping up and down on his porch," Altstatt said. "He said, ‘Santa, Santa: I'm 97 and this is the first time you ever visited me.'"
For more information, Altstatt can be reached at (928) 535-3218.