Local Santa wishes to bring the spirit of Christmas all year round

Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 11:01 AM.

He explained that to be a Santa you don’t have to be a professional, but it helps.

“I’ve been to Santa School and have to have a background check done on a regular basis,” he said. “This helps with peace of mind to those who have me coming around children and I’ve got over $3 million in liability insurance to add to that peace of mind.”

Ray said he was excited because this organization of over 400 Santas were going global.

“We’ve been getting more and more support from so many people,” he said. “For Washington County alone I’ve got over 1,000 toys to sort through to prepare for children. These are all donated by local people in Holmes, Washington and Bay Counties and wouldn’t have been possible without their generosity.”

To find out more on Santa America visit their official website at www.santa-america.org.

He also belongs to a group of “real-bearded” Santas called the Palm Tree Santas.

“We’ve started a Santa Drill Team to support our troops,” he said. “We dress in red and white camouflage and perform drill routines, teach the importance of the pledge of allegiance, the War of 1812, the significance of our flag and to honor our veterans. We’re available upon request and only ask for donations for travel expenses.”

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