Several American Sign Language (ASL) students and interpreters from Kapiʻolani Community College will serve as “elf concierges” at the 25th annual Yes Virginia, There is a Deaf Santa Claus! event. The event is scheduled for December 8, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. at the Pearl Ridge Center.
“Many of the children who chatted with Deaf Santa when they were young, now have keiki of their own or are performers for the Deaf Santa’s show,” said Jan Fried, one of the event’s organizers. “It is a heartfelt experience to see parents burst into tears while they watch their children chat with Deaf Santa in ASL.”
The Golden Circle of Angels, the performers and organizations/sponsors that have supported this event for all 25 years, will also be at the event.
Yes Virginia, There is a Deaf Santa Claus!
The first event occurred in 1991 at the Hawaiʻi School for the Deaf and the Blind, formerly known as the Statewide Center for Students with Visual and Hearing Impairments.
In 1992, Pearl Ridge Center partnered with the Hawaiʻi School for the Deaf and Blind to develop a holiday event catering to all communities. Every second Thursday in December, for the past 25 years, Pearl Ridge Center and its management team have created elaborate sets, provided incredible promotion and arranged for special treats for the children. For the past three years, Pearl Ridge Center Merchants Association have also sponsored the school buses that transport children and their teachers to watch the performances.
This year, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education approved funding to bring neighbor island children and their teachers to Oʻahu for Deaf Santa’s 25th celebration.