SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It was a very special day for 20 low-income Sunday school students from North County. They were treated to a trip to SeaWorld San Diego - complete with behind the scenes access courtesy of the Larry Himmel Neighborhood Foundation.
Claudia Arteaga is the Sunday School teacher at El Gron Yo Soy - a Christian community church. A few months ago, she wrote a letter to the Larry Himmel Neighborhood Foundation.
In the letter she wrote she wanted her kids to visit a theme park, because many of them had never been to a park. Then, just days before Christmas, Claudia's wish came true courtesy of the foundation.
"It means the world to me because I know them. Sometimes I see them with torn shoes or their clothes and this has made them so happy," she said.
The group wasted no time getting on rides at the theme park, including a special surprise, as they were taken backstage of the park's dolphin show.
The kids danced, got splashed with water by the dolphins and, most importantly, smiled. It's the reaction Larry Himmel always received from people.
It's a legacy his son Miles wanted to carry on following his death by starting a foundation in Larry's name.
"If he was here he would be out doing these stories. Not in a fundraising way, but he would be telling these stories. To give back in his name, it just fills me with joy," says Miles.
With the help of donations and volunteers, the foundation grants all types of wishes from new school supplies to Christmas gifts throughout San Diego - a community that meant the world to Larry Himmel.
CBS News 8's Larry Himmel passed away in 2014 following his battle with cancer. Larry was 68 years old.
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