KANSAS CITY, Mo. - More than 1,200 people attended Monday's ‘Friends of Special People' 23rd annual Christmas party in downtown Kansas City.
The event was bittersweet since this is the second year the organization's founder Joe Brocato wasn't in attendance. Brocato recently passed.
However, organizers say they are working to carry on his dream of helping people with special needs experience the holiday season.
Each year students from over 50 local schools and institutions attend
"The greatest reward is not what we do, it's what we see," said volunteer John Hamilton. "These kids just turn on, if you come to the party, you can't help but want to help next year."
The party included everything from candy, games and stuffed animals, to Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Both Kansas City Chiefs and Royals mascots Slugger and KC Wolf were also in attendance.
Volunteers say it takes about $25,000 a year to put on the party.