Sheriff's officials take ill children for a harbor ride

About 250 seriously ill children and their families cruised around Newport Harbor with the Orange County Sheriff's Department for the Fourth of July.

The group boated on a triple-deck yacht from 8 to 9:15 a.m. Wednesday. Then they docked at the American Legion building on the Balboa Peninsula, where the children ate pancakes.

The American Legion provided the 53 kids with gift bags. Michael Sweig, a member of the Sheriff's Advisory Council, and his wife, JoAnn, gave the children handmade shirts and hats, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Krause.

After breakfast, the children reboarded the boat and cruised again from 11:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. to play games, dance and have their faces painted.

One of the children aboard the boat had received a heart transplant while the others suffered from a range of illnesses and birth defects,

according to sheriff's Community Relations Manager Carrie Braun.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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