Column: Visits from Santa and Suzie

This column ties into a live TV talk show, Another Point of View, which is telecast tonight at 8 o'clock on Channel 10.

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus ... he exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist ... The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see ... A thousand years from now ... he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."

Remember those words taken from the New York Sun editorial in 1897? They are as real and poignant now as they were over 100 years ago.

As a special treat for children of all ages, APOV's distinguished guests tonight will be Santa and Suzie ... that's Suzie Meehan, executive director of the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada.

As I read Suzie's biography, I realized that this woman of boundless energy, optimism and courage has gifts to share that go far beyond the offerings of her current passion, the Children's Museum.

A hospice group contacted her recently asking if she'd like their services. Although she is fighting a fast-spreading cancer, she explained to them that she barely had time to take their phone call. There was a newsletter to put out, new classes to organize, fund-raising duties, a staff to coordinate and ... whew! Being diagnosed with cancer has only made her want to work faster, not less!

The dream of renovating the historic civic auditorium for a children's museum presented a real challenge. Rotten stage curtains, burnt and blackened floors, walls of nameless colors, ugly bathrooms, encrusted dirt and other "indescribable stuff" was what greeted Suzie and other board members when they first walked into the dilapidated building in 1991.

You should see it now! In fact, plan on going there this Saturday. Santa will be making a special appearance from 2 p.m. until ....

Classes happening and pending at the museum include a unique program called Kindermusik. This music and movement class is for parents and children from infancy through 5 years. It involves instrument exploration, singing, vocal play and colorful literature.

Other classes starting in January include ballet and jazz, guitar, beginners sewing, Hatha Yoga, swing dance lessons, creative scrap booking, a comedy course and a Buddhist meditation group.

Details in all of the above will be outlined tonight as Suzie, Santa and I talk about Christmas, the museum and anything you want to discuss. Children - aged and ageless - are encouraged to call the show between 8 and 9 p.m. Turn the TV to Channel 10 and dial 882-2839. We want to hear about your Christmas hopes and wishes on Another Point of View.


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