By Linda Collins
Fairborn Daily Herald
ENON – The Med-Lake (Enon) Lions Club is sponsoring its annual Santa Claus Christmas Eve visit to children who resides in the Greenon Local School District.
Now in its 60th year, the annual visit brings holiday joy and the magic of Christmas into area homes and into the hearts of local children. According to Elmer Beard, Lions Santa Claus chairman, there is no charge for the visits, but the club will be accepting donations.
Santa will be leaving his sleigh and reindeers back home at the North Pole, and an elf or elfin will be driving around the jolly old fellow as he pays a visit to children on his “nice list” between 6 and 8 p.m.
“This way, Santa will have plenty of time to return to the North Pole to begin his special deliveries for Christmas,” Beard said.
Originally started by Lion Joe Ventolo as a neighborhood project in the early 50s, the Lions adopted the idea as an annual club project in 1956. At that time, four Lions donned the appropriate Santa apparel and visited 65 homes to the delight of more than 100 children. Last year, the Lions continued the annual tradition by visiting approximately 120 children in 30 homes located in the school district.
“We usually average about 30 home visits each year,” said Beard.
This year, Beard, who has taken on the role of Santa since the early 80s, and Med-Lake Lions Larry Slusser and Doug Brown will dress up in the popular Santa attire and make the rounds to area homes. Beard explained that Santa will provide candy treats for the children and will deliver any gifts that are placed outside the home near the door.
Parents may request additional information or submit their requests for a Santa visit through Dec. 21 via e-mail at EnonLionsSanta@aol.com or by calling 937-864-7461. When submitting a request, please supply Santa with the names and ages of all the children, an address and directions to the home. A phone number for Santa to call and verify information is helpful as well.
“A bright porch light will also help the elf or elfin driver find each home. Santa knows all, but he depends on his drivers to find the homes,” Beard added.
The Enon Knob Prairie Church will host its annual 13th-annual Cookie Walk beginning 9 a.m.-noon, or until items sell out. It will offer a large variety of holiday cookies, as well as three varieties of fudge and peanut clusters. The church is located at 203 W. Main Street, across from Dock Restaurant.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.