MY OUTLOOK: Santa with the Rotary Club of Northwest OKC
How long has the Rotary Club of Northwest OKC been hosting the Santa Project?
I have been helping with the Northwest Oklahoma City Rotary Club since 1979.
Where do you take the pictures with Santa?
Northpark Mall, located at North May Ave and 122nd St.
What is different about your Santa Project?
We are Oklahoma City’s only non-profit Santa! All of our net proceeds go to various local charities, most of them are children related.
Do you have any special days during the event?
We sure do! We have a signing Santa for the hearing impaired; special needs Santa for mentally challenged children; and we also have special times set aside for pets.
What’s your favorite part about taking pictures?
The smiles and letting the children know “the reason for the season.” Also, since I am not a corporate Santa, I get to spend a little extra time with each child in order to enhance their experience.
How much money have you raise and where do you donate it?
Last year was our best year ever and we have been blessed over the years by being able to raise tens of thousands of dollars. We have helped Sister BJ’s Pantry, The Boy Scouts, The YMCA, All for Rescues, The Children’s Home, the Jesus House, EVE, Alzheimer’s Association, the Salvation Army, and many more too numerous to name. We help big and small.
How many kids, dogs or adults get their picture taken each year?
Last year more than 10,000 moms, dads, kids, dogs and cats came to visit Santa.
Do you have a favorite story or quirky incident from your time with the Santa Project?
I will just let you know, the bladder on a Great Dane is not so small.
How many people are involved with the Santa Project?
Each season, the Rotarians work hundreds of shifts to provide an affordable non-profit Santa experience. Well over 100 people volunteer to make this project a success.
What inspired your organization to start hosting this event?
What started out as a fundraiser turned into a labor of love. This project allows us to give back to the needy in our community.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about the Rotary Club of Northwest OKC?
The Rotary’s motto is “Service above self.” The Santa Project is a living example of Rotarianism. If you want more information on The Santa Project or joining Rotary, please join us for lunch. We meet every Tuesday at 12pm at the Greens Country Club.
Learn more about the Rotary Club of Northwest OKC at nwokcrotary.org.