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Local Children in Hospitals Thrilled to Get Toys[Gallery]

I’m happy and humbled at the same time to have experienced the annual Barney Cannon Smile Run for the first time this year.

Barney Cannon Smile Run photo by Elaine Etheridge

Operation Santa Claus is a program that involves all six Townsquare Media radio stations, Shreveport Police and Fire and Bossier Sheriff’s Departments, and began in 1984, with Barney at the helm.

It was such a joy to see Barney’s widow, Kaye Cannon carrying on the project Barney was so passionate about. Kaye was giving children bells and placing brightly colored beads around their necks. Barney was morning show host and program director for our sister station, KWKH, for many years. And Operation Santa Claus was his passionate project.

We visited two hospitals in Shreveport – Shriner’s Children’s Hospital and Christus Schumpert Sutton’s Children’s Hospital. At Shriner’s Hospital, children were brought out to see a Shreveport Fire truck and they were allowed to actually squirt foam from the hose.

Another interesting thing I noticed about Shriner’s Hospital was this long toy train running and set up in the main room where you would also find a beautiful large Christmas tree.

I was told there are so many children not from here who don’t even speak English that the train and Santa are the universal language.

How sweet!

At Christus Schumpert Sutton’s Children’s Hospital, Shreveport police brought in a motorcycle and turned on the lights and let children sit on the bike. The nurses seemed to really enjoy the bike. Even Santa Claus liked it!

When all was said and done there were many smiles on the faces of children who needed a smile. Thank you for your toy donations that made this year’s Barney Cannon Smile Run such a success.

Merry Christmas from your friends at the Christmas station, 96.5, KVKI! You can still donate cash at any time at the Operation Santa Claus website:

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