Kids celebrate the holidays at Happy Joe’s annual party

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Quad City kids experienced some holiday cheer at Happy Joe’s annual party.

Friday, November 22, 2013 was the 41st annual Quad City Special Needs Children’s Party at the iWireless Center.

Along with Happy Joe Whitty, his dog Happy, the Happy Dancers, and Santa Clause were in attendance.

“It’s the greatest day of my life,” said Happy Joe’s founder Joe Whitty. “It’s my Christmas party right here. These kids are loveable. I get more hugs and kisses than you ever saw, but it’s a really great day for me.”

The party has certainly grown in the last 41 years. The first party had about 40 kids in attendance, the 2013 gathering produced about 1,500.

“We take the holiday season as an opportunity to reflect on the past and continue the tradition our father started 41 years ago,” said Director of Marketing, Kristel Whitty-Ersan. She reached out to thank local partners like Pepsi, Quad City’s Optimist Clubs, the iWireless Center, and volunteers to make the event possible. “Thank you for helping us make this a bigger and better event each year.”