Traditional postal worker Christmas party continues for "one more year"

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Christmas is 19 days away, but it came early for some Milwaukee kids.

Hundreds of Milwaukee Public School children were selected by school social workers to take part in the "Johnetta Borum" Christmas party.

The kids were treated to free lunch, gifts, a little music to make it a party and a visitor from the North Pole -- Santa!

The celebration started in 1971, when Johnetta Borum, a postal worker, got a handful of her co-workers together to share a meal and a gift with students in need. She passed away in 1972, before the second year of the party.

"We were so distraught over her death that we said, she wanted to have one so we'll do one more," said

Well the U.S. Postal Service has been doing one more for the last 43 years.

Leon Van Vooren sponsored Norberto this year.

"Just to see the joy in their face, it's really, makes you feel good in the heart," said

People from all over Wisconsin help out, turning the room into a Christmas celebration for kids of all ages.

"I want to say thank you to everybody," said

In case you were wondering about next year...

"Well, we're going to have one more," said

269 students attended this years party. Over the last 43 years, more than 15,000 children have been a part of this "one more year" party.

Sponsors were asked to buy two lunch tickets, one for the child and one for themselves -- and buy a $25 gift.