HUDSON, Fla. - Most are in wheelchairs, and many cannot speak. But founder of The Angelus, Pauline Shaver says, "They know they are doing something special."
But when holiday time comes, residents of this facility for the severely disabled shine.
"They all really want to come out, no matter how cold it is. Or how rainy it is. They want to do it," said Shaver.
For more than 20 years they have put on a pageant that takes guests through the 'Story of Christmas.'
"You should hear the excitement when we go to get them, they get so excited and they clap their hands."
A shepherd leads the way. He is the only one in the performance able to move with his feet. And he uses them proudly, leading the group past the three wise men, and on to the manger scene, where Chris Fox is the Little Drummer Boy.
"Being the Little Drummer Boy, that's the most intricate part of the play I think, because it shows no matter if your poor, rich. Handsome, ugly. Christmas is a time for everybody," said Fox.
A man named Kevin was Joseph for many years, but when he passed away, Tom Brown took over. "I'm happy to carry on his job," he said.
"He (Brown) takes so much pride in being Joseph. He grows his beard a month ahead of time so he'll have a beard to play the role," said Shaver.
The performance ends with the most moving scene of all. The entire group gathered together in a choir.
"Each time we do it, it gives me goose pimples. And I just love it," said Shaver.
There are six performances each year, with the final two coming up this weekend. For more information, go the The Angelus' website at www.theangelus.com/wb/index.php .
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