Foster children receive VIP treatment at Roosevelt Hotel’s ‘Teddy Bear Tea’

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -- Each holiday season, New Orleans' iconic Roosevelt Hotel transforms into a winter wonderland!

As twinkling lights bedazzle the lobby, little ones gussy-up for the extravagant Teddy Bear Tea.

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This year, WGNO teamed up with the Roosevelt to treat one special group of children to a VIP Christmas experience.

Little Destiny could hardly contain her smile as she described all the characters at the event.  "The Snow Princess, Mrs. Claus and the reindeer!"

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Not to mention the big man himself, who is usually the star of the show.  Except maybe this year, as our group of kids from CASA Jefferson took center stage instead.

Kanitra Caston-Hill works with the non-profit, which advocates for the most vulnerable children in the foster system.  She says this is an experience they may have never had before.

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"Imagine being a child and having physical and sexual abuse happen to them and then having to be pulled away from home; away from your mother, your father, your sisters, your brothers."

She says it's especially difficult during the holidays.  For many of these children, an afternoon at the Roosevelt's tea is a much needed escape.

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"At least," explains Kanitra, "this gives them an opportunity to think of something else like Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.  To have a great time and not have to think about their reality."

It was an afternoon of sweet treats, stories and smiles, with cheers of "Merry Christmas" that could be heard throughout the room!

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The Teddy Bear Tea continues through Christmas Eve.  Tickets are still available.