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144FW hosts 29th Annual Silent Sleigh: “A Time to Dream”

Santa Clause and Mrs. Claus communicate with children in sign language during the 29th Annual Silent Sleigh at the Fresno Air National Guard Base Dec. 9, 2015. Silent Sleigh, similar to a Christmas carnival, is an event geared towards deaf and hard of hearing children from the Fresno, Clovis, Madera and surrounding county areas. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano)

Santa Clause and Mrs. Claus communicate with children in sign language during the 29th Annual Silent Sleigh at the Fresno Air National Guard Base Dec. 9, 2015. Silent Sleigh, similar to a Christmas carnival, is an event geared towards deaf and hard of hearing children from the Fresno, Clovis, Madera and surrounding county areas. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Gordon Pipes, 144th Communications Flight information technology specialist, passes candy out to children during the 29th Annual Silent Sleigh at the Fresno Air National Guard Base Dec. 9, 2015. Silent Sleigh, similar to a Christmas carnival, is an event geared towards deaf and hard of hearing children from the Fresno, Clovis, Madera and surrounding county areas. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Gordon Pipes, 144th Communications Flight information technology specialist, passes candy out to children during the 29th Annual Silent Sleigh at the Fresno Air National Guard Base Dec. 9, 2015. Silent Sleigh, similar to a Christmas carnival, is an event geared towards deaf and hard of hearing children from the Fresno, Clovis, Madera and surrounding county areas. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano)

George, Valley Children's Hospital mascot, greets a child during the 29th Annual Silent Sleigh held at the Fresno Air National Guard Base Dec. 9, 2015. Silent Sleigh, similar to a Christmas carnival, is an event geared towards deaf and hard of hearing children from the Fresno, Clovis, Madera and surrounding county areas. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano)

George, Valley Children's Hospital mascot, greets a child during the 29th Annual Silent Sleigh held at the Fresno Air National Guard Base Dec. 9, 2015. Silent Sleigh, similar to a Christmas carnival, is an event geared towards deaf and hard of hearing children from the Fresno, Clovis, Madera and surrounding county areas. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano)

FRESNO AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Calif. -- The 144th Fighter Wing hosted the 29th Annual Silent Sleigh at the Fresno Air National Guard Base Dec. 9, 2015.

Silent Sleigh, similar to a Christmas carnival, is an event geared towards deaf and hard of hearing children from the Fresno, Clovis, Madera and surrounding county areas. This event gives the children an opportunity to meet a signing Santa Claus and give him a written list or sign what they want for Christmas. A signing Mrs. Claus interacts with the children as well.

"Silent Sleigh is a great way for deaf and hard of hearing children to meet a Santa they can communicate with," said Ronda Schmidt, Clovis Unified School District Special Education program specialist. "This allows the children to sign to Santa Clause their Christmas dreams and wishes."

Aside from meeting Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, the children watched a parade consisting of Airmen assigned to the 144FW as well as various organizations from the local community. At the end of the parade, the children voted on their favorite float.

"Our main priority is to provide a safe and secure environment for Silent Sleigh so the children can enjoy the event," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Lauren Pike, 144th Maintenance Group munitions flight superintendent, who was also the event lead on behalf of the 144FW. "The amount of involvement from the 144th Airmen and the local community is outstanding and they help make this event successful every year."

Approximately 150 children, adults, and members from local organizations participated in the 29th Annual Silent Sleigh.

"We appreciate the continued support from the Fresno Air National Guard and all of our sponsors and donators," Schmidt said. "We couldn't do it without them."