Children riding on the Polar Express, part of Operation North Pole were greeted by members of the Palatine Fire Department Saturday afternoon at the Palatine Metra Station.
The train, heading inbound towards downtown from Crystal Lake, slowed down in time for the firefighters, complete with Santa hats and directional North Pole signs, to wave and show their support.
More than 60 families who have children battling life-threatening diseases were onboard and headed to their destionation in Des Plaines.
There the families boarded charter buses and joined a parade with Santa, riding atop a Fire Department ladder truck, to a Winter Wonderland at the Donald E. Stephens Rosemont Convention and Banquet Center for a holiday celebration.
Each child aged 12 and younger was set to receive a wrapped gift selected from wish lists they wrote to Santa.
Children that participated were referred to Operation North Pole by Child Life Specialists from area children’s hospitals and directors from four area Ronald McDonald Houses.
Firefighters who attended the event included: Deputy Chief William Gabrenya
Battalion Chief Doug Hoyt, Lieutenant Steve Schweitzer, Firefighter Russ Cerny
Firefighter Joe Corso, Firefighter Andy Milewski, Firefighter Clyde Schmelzer and
Firefighter Beau Buhs.