As it observed its 75th year, the 2020 Bedford Community Santa Claus Project had to resort to a different scheme due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Planning began as usual in August. After many individual meetings and consultations with a member of the Select Board, the Town Manager and the Bedford Board of Health, many options were discussed and discarded.
In early November, the best option of personalized videos for all families that wanted one became the plan. Nine experienced folks with an average of 15 years of being a Santa, each spent an evening recording messages. There were 195 families that received personalized messages for delivery on Christmas Eve. We also had eight late-registering families that were given a non-personalized greeting from Santa.
Volunteers for 2020 include: Christine Jesensky Bennett, Mark Buccolo, David Dalrymple, Jennifer Dalrymple, Susan DiGangi, Bobbie Ennis, Caroline Fedele, Lisa Freed, Ken Gordon, Kathryn Green, Lorraine Griecci, Dave Hennessey, Tim Hennessey, David Johnson, JoLynne Johnson, Eric Larson, Becky Ricci, Joleen Ricci, Peter Ricci, Sheena Santos, Paolo Sepe, Susan Sepe, Christine Smith, Jennifer Stewart, Alex Taggard, Ethel Waite, Andy Webber, Bob White, Linda White.
We apologize for any volunteers that were inadvertently missed or the name is misspelled. Special thanks to Santa Shoppers Susan DiGangi, Kathryn Green, Sheena Santos and Susan Sepe. For help and consultation during the planning stage, we wish to thank Ed Pierce from the Select Board, Sarah Stanton Town Manager, and Heidi Porter and Katharine Dagle from the Bedford Board of Health. Thank you to Christine Jesensky Bennett for recruiting the Santa volunteers. Christine Smith was an excellent prop mistress procuring the backdrops, Santa “uniform” and accessories that make Santa—Santa. She also ensured each Santa had his own kit to ensure there was not mixing of any items among the participants.
Special thanks to Pastor John Castricum and the First Church of Christ Congregational for providing multiple, socially distanced, recording studios for the bulk of the recordings.
Jennifer Stewart handled most of the heavy lifting this year. She was the social media coordinator, web site design, registration form creation, registrar, database maintainer and distributor of the final product. A very special shout out to Jennifer, as she was the glue that held this year’s program together. David Dalrymple provided some of the video equipment used. He also edited and uploaded the videos.
We are hoping 2021 resembles many of our past pre-COVID efforts and hope to welcome back all our perennial volunteers that were sidelined this year as it was just ill-advised to try for business as usual. Thank you Bedford for your support during this difficult year for all of us.