Some of you may know that my secret identity is Santa Claus. For six seasons I was Santa at Woodland Hills, Tulsa's largest shopping mall. From 1997 to 2002 I took the chair and asked about 15,000 children per season about their Christmas wishes. It was fun until some health problems forced me to give it up. However, I still have the suit and still do a few gigs for churches and charities.
Saturday I channeled Santa for my favorite charity, New Hope Ministry of Oklahoma. This started as a summer camp experience for children who have a family member who is incarcerated. These kids are a risk of the same fate without some positive experiences and good role models. The summer camp grew into a series of year round experiences and is making a real difference in the lives of these children. Click the link if you are interested in knowing more about it. Santa talked to over 150 delightful children this time.
This spritely elfe is Judy Gann, Episcopal Deacon and the founder and leader of New Hope. As you can see, she is having a very merry Christmas. She has been very nice this year.