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Santa to spread holiday cheer

Santa Claus will remain in the White Hall area following the Dec. 7 Christmas Parade to help deliver presents to some children, according to two of the city’s volunteer firemen.

Fire Marshal Bill Beadle and volunteer firemen John Badgley told a luncheon meeting of the White Hall Chamber of Commerce last week that the volunteers sent Santa out on a fire truck a decade ago to hand out candy canes.

The adult firemen were having so much fun they did it several more times that week and the following week, said Badgley, deciding the excitement on the faces of the children brought joy to them.

Initially Santa and the volunteers visited the homes of firemen and police officers. After the word spread of Santa’s residential visits here, several parents ask “if we would bring their children presents if they furnished them, and of course we couldn’t say no. Each year we go to about 25 families and visit with them,” Beadle told the chamber meeting.

Beadle said the firemen hope to determine by the time of the parade what nights the spirit of Christmas personified can make visits to private residences, noting the nights and number of trips will be determined by their work schedules.

“It can only be done on a first call, first served basis,” he added. Individuals who want to request a visit from Santa should call the White Hall Police Department (247-1415) or White Hall City Hall (247-2399) and leave a name and telephone number, the firemen said, and they will call once their schedule is worked out.

Santa’s volunteer helpers said they will visit Jefferson Regional Medical Center’s pediatric wing if any children are hospitalized.