The halls of the United States Sports Academy echoed with holiday cheer as the university hosted a group students from the Callahan Regional School for the Deaf and Blind for a Christmas party.

The students from Mobile, Ala., were greeted by USSA artist in residence Nancy Raia, who treated them to a campus art tour, holiday-themed art activities, Christmas caroling with USSA faculty and staff, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. In addition to fun for the children, Amy Arnold Hess taught USSA staff how to navigate walking with a cane while blindfolded so they could gain an understanding of the daily life of the students. Baldwin County veteran, longtime dentist, and veteran’s advocate Dr. Barry Booth provided bus travel, lunch, gifts, and more for the students.

Finally the students, USSA faculty and staff, and guests were invited to participate in Christmas carol singing led by Blue Star Families director Cris Smith. Then, Mrs. Claus read The Night Before Christmas and Santa handed out gift bags for all of the students.