Tags: santa claus | boston globe | massachusetts

72-Year-Old Donates All His Santa Duty Earnings to Charity

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By    |   Saturday, 24 Dec 2016 10:21 PM

Longtime Massachusetts Santa Claus Wendell W. Ritchie has never been paid for his work.

But that’s for good reason, he says.

The 72-year-old donates all of the money he makes for his mall gig to the Springfield Rescue Mission, something he’s done since he started 16 years ago.

"Santas can earn $175 an hour or more, but I have never taken money for my work," he tells the Boston Globe. "I contribute whatever I make to the Springfield Rescue Mission. I do this for very selfish reasons — it’s a real upper for me to brighten someone's day and bring back the wonder and magic of Christmas."

Ritchie, who stands 6-5 and weighs 290 pounds, is a retired computer programmer. He started dressing up as Santa over a decade ago when his wife handed him a Santa suit – he already had the white beard, big belly and glasses – and told him to visit the neighbors.

"The first house I visited, the little girl opened the door, turned, and immediately ran up to her bedroom,” he tells the Globe. “I never saw her again that night. I visited a couple more kids down the street and kind of enjoyed the whole thing. Then I saw a 'help wanted' ad for Santa, and that was that."

 

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Longtime Massachusetts Santa Claus Wendell W. Ritchie has never been paid for his work. But that's for good reason, he says. The 72-year-old donates all of the money he makes for his mall gig to the Springfield Rescue Mission
santa claus, boston globe, massachusetts
216
2016-21-24
Saturday, 24 Dec 2016 10:21 PM
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