5th Annual Northwest Santa Workshop Nov. 6-8, 2014 Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound, Washington

Meeting Minutes 5th Annual Northwest Santa Workshop Nov. 6-8, 2014 Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound, Washington

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    Russell Albright

      Nov. 6
      Several conference participants arrived in the afternoon and early evening and began checking in with NORPAC Co-chair Dennis Simpson. About a dozen of us enjoyed dinner and fellowship together in one of the Great Wolf Lodge’s restaurants.

      Nov. 7
      Morning Devotional – Santa Ron Kearns presented a brief morning devotional session titled “Keeping Christ in Christmas.” Ron reminded us that if you have not the heart of Christ, you have not Christ.

      Registration and Welcome — After a period of registration and informal visiting, Santa Dennis opened the conference with greetings and various announcements. A total of 60 individuals were present including about 30 Santas, several Mrs. Clauses, an Elf, family members and other guests. Those who were attending their first NORPAC conference included:
      Santa Dennis Cline & his sister Charlene Bowen
      Santa Randy Mawdsley
      Santa Ron & Sherry Highfill
      Santa Ken and Nancy Lehto
      Elf Marty Horton
      Santa Scott Beld
      Santa Phil Alsup and partner Sandy Maurer. (Phil has been hired as the Santa at the new Bass Pro store in Tacoma and Sandy will be his photographer).

      Round Table Discussion — Santa Gene Sanders led a Round Table discussion with questions and various responses on a variety of topics. Round Table discussions continue to be an important element of the NORPAC conferences These sessions provide opportunity for anyone to ask questions and to receive input from the larger group.

      The Forgotten Children’s Fund — Director Doug Moeller gave an excellent presentation on this program and invited our group’s support. The program presently serves over 700 families and more than 5000 children each Christmas and provides toys, clothing and bikes for the kids, along with food and other necessities for the families. Doug also told us about the summer Ranch and Riding program for disadvantaged children that the Forgotten Children’s Fund operates on Whidbey Island at the M Bar C Ranch. It was impressive to learn that these programs are staffed by 100% volunteers, some of whom have been involved since the program’s beginning in 1975. Doug’s phone number for anyone wanting further information is 206-915-3670.

      Round Table Discussion – Following lunch, Santa Jerry Galland led another Round Table session which, like the morning session, covered a variety of topics. Some recommended books that were mentioned during this session included The Bird in Santa’s Beard by Jeffrey Schatzer and The Red Suit Diaries by Ed Boucharts. Santa Trever Waltos requested that we e-mail him the title and author of favorite books we use in our Santa work. After the first of the year, Trever will compile a list of these resources and add it to NORPAC’s website.

      Pictures in the Pool — Another highlight of the afternoon was the gathering of many of us in the pool area for photos and water fun.

      Santa Flash Mob – Many went to dinner at Papa’s Pizza in Centralia which included a “flash mob” singing Christmas carols.

      Karaoke — The evening continued back at the Great Wolf Lodge with Christmas Karaoke led by Santa Ramsay “RC” Cowlishaw. This activity was well attended and was great fun for everyone there.

      Nov. 8
      Morning Devotional – again led by Santa Ron with the theme that Santa bringing joy and happiness and hope is so much more important than Santa bringing material gifts.

      Story Telling Demonstration – Several Santas and Mrs. Clauses shared a favorite Christmas story or Christmas poem. The variety of the different pieces that were shared was very interesting. Trever’s offer of compiling a list of such items for the NORPAC website should prove a great resource for all of us.

      Pro Entertainment Consultants – Our speakers for the morning session were Darrell Wagner, owner of Pro Entertainment Consultants, and booking agent Alex Shimuzu. I think we were all surprised to learn that Pro Entertainment, based in Seattle, also has offices in several other west coast locations. Alex and Darrell encouraged NORPAC Santas who have not already done so to sign up with Pro Entertainment. Pro Entertainment is always looking for more Santas and receives far more requests than they are able to fill.

      Round Table Discussion –Santa Jerry Galland led the next session. Among the topics was sign language instruction by Dawn and a brief presentation by Marty about his experiences as an Elf. Marty also works as Cupid and as a Leprechaun.

      Ornament Exchange – This took place just prior to a tasty buffet lunch.

      Entertainment by Buck & Elizabeth – Following lunch, Buck & Elizabeth provided musical entertainment in the lobby area of the hotel. Santa Ron had secured permission for them to appear in that public area with the effect being that many people in addition to the NORPAC group were able to enjoy their performance. Lots of fun!

      Raffle & 50/50 Drawing – Conference participants had donated approximately 30 baskets and other items. The baskets were won by those holding the winning ticket drawn for each item. Santa Dennis Gorley announced that 969 raffle tickets had been purchased, making the 50/50 drawing worth $485. Cassie Schmittler was the lucky winner!

      Parade – As in past years, the culmination of our conference took place after we all changed into our Santa gear and participated in a wonderful parade down the hall and around the lobby area. Besides all the Santas, participants included many Mrs. Clauses, Elf Marty and a couple other elves, and the Grinch. The variety of Santa suits and other costumes was incredible!

      Thanks to everyone! Many hands and much work went into planning and carrying out this conference. Besides thanking everyone who shared their enthusiasm and knowledge by attending the conference, we also specifically thank:

      NORPAC’s executive committee (Jerry Galland, Dennis Gorley, Ron Kearns, Gene Sanders, Dale Scott, Dennis Simpson, & Trever Waltos) — Event Planning.
      Dennis Simpson for putting together the program, and for he and Michele hosting the hospitality room.
      Cutter’s Point & Expresson Products Direct – Sponsors of the Conference
      Trever & Heidi Waltos — Table Decorations and Sound System
      Buck & Elizabeth – Entertainment
      Doug Moeller of Forgotten Children’s Fund; Darrell Wagner & Alex Shimuzu of Pro-Entertainment – Guest Speakers
      Vendors – Dori of Lakewood Costume; Alex Bennett of Andresson’s Shoe Repair & New Shoes
      Everyone who provided items for the gift bags and/or raffle, and who supported the conference through purchase of raffle tickets.
      Special thanks to our host – The Great Wolf Lodge — for sharing their beautiful facility and for providing great service for our conference.

      Respectfully submitted,
      Dale Scott, NORPAC Secretary

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    Meeting Minutes 5th Annual Northwest Santa Workshop Nov. 6-8, 2014 Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound, Washington

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