More than 200 families enjoyed a fun time Thursday at the annual Learning and Early Assessment for Preschoolers (LEAP) Christmas Party at the Ed and Mary Sue Murray Educational Center.

The LEAP Christmas Party has been held for the past decade to make the holidays special for the 22 LEAP special needs classes in schools around Douglas County.

Amanda Shuemake, LEAP supervisor for the county, said the number of families served this year was up from 150 last year, making this the biggest party yet. She said volunteers expected to serve 500 plates at this year's event.

"It is an honor to be able to put this program together for these children and their families and see the joy that it brings to them all," Shuemake said. ..."We are excited and honored to have our staff, volunteers, and sponsors come out and support this event for the kids and their families. Without our staff, volunteers, and sponsors none of this would be possible"

In addition to the students and families, teachers and therapists from preschools throughout the county attended.

Students got to have their pictures made with Santa Claus, also known as John Fuller.

Other activities included:

• Corn Hole Toss

• Ice Fishing

• Picture Frame Decorating

• Face Painting

• Cupcake Walk

• Jumpy House

• Reindeer Food

• Cookie Decorating

• Sucker Ornament Tree Game

Volunteers to help make sure the preschoolers had fun came from Mason Creek Elementary, Douglas County High School -- CTAE, Douglas County High School -- IB Program, New Manchester High School -- CTAE, Alexander High School -- National Hispanic Honors Society, New Manchester High School -- National Hispanic Honor Society and Boy Scout Troop No. 626.

Company sponsors contributing this year included: Synergistic Architectural Manufacturing, Texas Roadhouse, DR Painting Construction, LLC, Kroger Highway 5, Blue Agave, Boy Scout Troop No. 626, Sprinkles Donuts, Bill Arp Subway, Sam's Club, Publix Highway 5 and Monterrey's Highway 5.

The LEAP program is also helped throughout the year by its Partners in Education: Chick-fil-A Arbor Place Mall, Cason Hightower, Insight Screen Printing and Embroidery, Stevie B's Pizza, Wal-Mart Thornton Road, Texas Roadhouse and Yogli Mogli.

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