Kids from the Stollery Children’s Hospital were treated to a special delivery when Santa Claus arrived Wednesday, escorted by the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Santa landed on the rooftop helipad accompanied by the Garrison’s 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, and brought 100 teddy bears for the patients. The squadron personnel donated over $1000 to make the purchasing of the bears possible.

Jenny Plume, the Manager for Child Life, explained why this event is so important.

“We do it to bring joy to the kids. We do it to bring joy to Santa, because to meet these kids is kind of incredible. And also just offering an opportunity to patients and families to experience something really special, because they’re in the hospital and we want to do everything we can to make it a very special time for them.”

Lt.-Col Dave Forbes, the Commanding Officer of 408 THS, laughed that there was no shortage of volunteers to transport Saint Nick.

“It’s so heartwarming. It honestly is. I almost had to break up fights in the squadron for all the crew members who wanted to fly the helicopter down here for this great day,” Forbes said, “if we could send more we would.”

About 120 kids will get a gift from Santa, including those who could not make it to the event.