8th Annual Northwest Santa Workshop Nov. 2-4, 2017

Meeting Minutes 8th Annual Northwest Santa Workshop Nov. 2-4, 2017

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    Russell Albright


      Nov. 2: The conference took place at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington. On Thurs. afternoon/evening, Nov. 2, several NORPAC members arrived at the GWL and prepared the conference room for the actual conference on Nov. 3-4. Also that evening, more than 20 of us enjoyed refreshments and visiting with one another in the hospitality room, hosted by Santa Trever and Heidi Waltos.

      Nov. 3: Ron Kearns led the morning devotional, Keeping Christ in Christmas, which was attended by 24 people.

      Following morning registration, Ron called the conference to order at 9:00 AM and welcomed everyone in attendance. Dennis Gorley reported later that 75 people registered to attend including 21 couples, 23 singles, and a few children and other friends of NORPAC. These numbers included 49 Santas or Mrs. Clauses, an elf, a Grinch, and others. These numbers represent NORPAC’s largest Santa Workshop to date.

      Eddie Hayes led the Santas in the Santa Claus Oath, and Cynthia Collier led the ladies in the Mrs. Claus Pledge. Both oaths were written by Phillip L. Wentz and used with permission.

      Those attending the NORPAC conference for the first time were asked to introduce themselves. They included: Santa Sean (from Northgate), Santa Jim (Lynnwood), Santa James (Stanwood), Santa Marty (Honolulu), Santa Don and his mom (Olympia), Santa Marshall (West Seattle), Santa Kirby (Seattle), Santa Dan and Wilma (Redmond), Santa Jeff and Lori (Federal Way), Santa Ralph (Ballard), Santa Michael (Port Hadlock), Santa Tony (Onalaska), Santa Bob (Burien), Santa Mike and Linda (Denton, Texas), and Elf Lolly (Everett). All were welcomed and we hope to see these folks at future NORPAC events!

      Following these introductions, special guest Robert Seutter “Santa True” was introduced and gave the first of several Christmas Performance Workshops. The workshops which Santa True presented (on Nov 3rd and 4th) covered a range of topics and all were given with great enthusiasm, humor, audience participation, and fun. Santa True also provided a comprehensive handout which supported his various presentations. Some of the sub-topics within his presentations and handouts included:
      Tools of the Performer;
      Improv for Christmas Performers;
      Vocals and Vocal Tips;
      Character Movement (Motion and Physicality);
      Facial Expressions;

      Rock Solid Santa;
      A Time to Shine: Women of the North Pole;
      Rethinking the Christmas Community;
      Story Reading for Christmas Performers;
      Story Telling for Christmas Performers; and
      Building Your Back Story.

      Following lunch, the NORPAC board members were introduced and Dennis Gorley explained a proposed change in the NORPAC by-laws which would eliminate the 2 elected positions of Co-Chair and replace those with Chair and Vice Chair. Ballots had been distributed to NORPAC members earlier and the 25 members who voted unanimously approved the change. This new language will be reflected in the upcoming election of NORPAC officers scheduled to occur at the next general meeting in February, 2018.

      Throughout the conference we also collected donations which will be added to the $1000 previously approved by NORPAC’s board. This money will be divided evenly and sent to the Santa group in Texas and in Florida to assist in their efforts to provide Christmas toys for children recently affected by the floods in those two regions.

      Another session by Santa True was followed by a break during which about 25 people participated in “Pictures in the Pool” most wearing old fashioned swimming suits. Following dinner, folks gathered in the conference room for a group photo wearing their Seahawks jerseys and for “Santa Olympics.” Following that Santa True gave his last presentation of the day, a session specifically intended for Mrs. Claus.

      Nov. 4: Ron again presented the morning devotional, Keeping Christ in Christmas, and Gene Sanders played his guitar and led the singing of several Christmas carols. About 40 people attended this activity.

      Santa True gave another excellent presentation during which he encouraged us to include at least a brief session of teaching/learning in every NORPAC gathering.

      Prior to lunch, we had our traditional Christmas ornament exchange, followed by drawing of raffle tickets for gift baskets and the 50-50 raffle. A total of 37 raffle items were given away, with ticket sales totaling $700. Ticket sales for the 50-50 raffle totaled $551 and Becky Enoch was the winner of that, collecting $275. The other half of the 50-50 proceeds ($276) and the $700 from raffle baskets will be deposited into NORPAC’s treasury to help with conference expenses.

      Following a delicious buffet lunch, Santa True gave his final presentation of the workshop on the topic of Story Telling.

      We then changed into our various costumes and at 3:00, sang and paraded through the lobby of the Great Wolf Lodge to the delight of the many children and adults gathered there. The 8th Annual Northwest Santa Workshop concluded following the parade and our visiting with hotel guests.

      Putting together a good sized conference is a lot of work. At the risk of missing someone, we’d like to thank and acknowledge the following for their assistance:
      Event Planning – The NORPAC Board (Trever Waltos, Dennis Gorley, Dale Scott, Ron Kearns, Gene Sanders, Jerry Galland, Randy Cook);
      Guest Speaker – Robert Seutter, Santa True;
      Devotions – Ron Kearns
      Table Decorations – Heidi Waltos and Family
      Sponsor – Troy Kearns, Espresso Products Direct, for Cookies and Snacks
      Facilities – Christine Riley, Conference Services Manager
      Conference Participants – Thanks to everyone who attended this conference for your participation, donations, and support!

      Respectfully submitted,
      Dale Scott, Secretary

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    Meeting Minutes 8th Annual Northwest Santa Workshop Nov. 2-4, 2017

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