Northwest Santa Workshop Nov 5-7 2015

Meeting Minutes Northwest Santa Workshop Nov 5-7 2015

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    Russell Albright

      Nov. 5th: Registration in Hospitality Room Social Time
      Setting up of meeting room (Table Decorations, P-A system, Projector Screen, etc.)

      Nov. 6th:
      Morning Devotional was presented by Santa Ron Kearns. His topic was “Keeping Christ in Christmas” and there were 22 Santas and Mrs. Clauses in attendance.

      Registration and social time followed.

      Welcome & Announcements. Santa Gene Sanders entertained us with his guitar playing and a couple songs, followed by Santa Ron calling the meeting to order and sharing several announcements. As the conference began, there were 45 people in attendance. Among the announcements were:
      • Santa Gary Weisser is still looking for more volunteer Santas to cover some of the upcoming events at JBLM. Contact Gary ( if you can help.
      • The Mt. Rainier Scenic Train is still looking for some Santas to fill out their schedule. Information has recently been sent to NORPAC members. If you need that info again, please contact Santa Dennis Simpson.
      • Santa Dennis S. also requests that anyone planning to attend the “Discover Santa” conference in Branson next summer (July 6-9) please let him know.

      Introductions. Santa Ron asked those attending the conference for the first time to introduce themselves. These folks included: Santa Mark & Linda Larson, Aloha, OR
      Santa Michael Webster, Port Townsend
      Santa Harry Caylor, Depoe Bay, OR
      Santa Dick & Tami McKinley, Mountlake Terrace
      Santa Wayne Pigott, Puyallup
      Santa Russell Albright, Lakewood
      Santa Ray Lewis, Campbell River, Vancouver Island

      Round Table Discussion #1, “Santa Beard and Hair Care” was presented by Santa Jerry Galland. Jerry discussed the techniques he uses for achieving that “white as the snow” look for Santa’s hair and beard. A good discussion followed with several others sharing tips they have discovered. An overall message that was emphasized was that these are strong chemicals that need to be used carefully and only as directed. Don’t leave them on too long at risk of burning your skin and/or damaging hair. There is a link of NORPAC’s website listing sources for many of the hair care products discussed.

      Guest Speaker: Healthy Santa. Cheryl Cummings of Northwest Hospital and the Univ. of Washington Medicine gave a presentation on “Keeping Healthy During the Holidays & Beyond.” She shared tips for healthy eating and suggested ways to reduce intake of calories and fat. Among other tips she shared were using sanitizing wipes on our Santa gloves, the importance of getting a flu shot, and the need to stay hydrated. Cheryl noted that you can’t drink too much water and that on a daily basis, we should drink a minimum of 2 oz. of water for each kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight.
      Round Table Discussion #2, “Mrs. Claus” was presented by Tracey Galland and Nancy Smith. Among other things, they shared info regarding several arts and crafts projects that can be done with the kids of varying ages, cookie decorating techniques, and books to share. Great discussion took place.

      Pictures in the Pool took place after lunch with several Santas and Mrs. Clauses participating. This was great fun and is always a highlight with several of our folks dressing up in old fashioned swimming attire.

      Christmas Karaoke with Santa Ramsey Cowlishaw took place after dinner with about 25 people enjoying listening to and singing a variety of Christmas songs.

      Nov. 7th:
      Morning Devotional, again led by Santa Ron, involving 24 participants.

      Story Telling Contest, coordinated by Santa Gene, featured several people sharing a favorite song, poem, or book. “Grinch” Alex Ardesson was asked to serve as judge. That was a difficult task for Alex, but in the end he chose: 1st Place—Santa Gene—who shared a musical version of “The Night Before Christmas” which he has created; 2nd Place—Nancy Smith—who shared the book Pause for Mrs. Claus; and 3rd Place—Trevor Waltos—for his rendition of “The Night Before Christmas”, recited by memory.

      Progress Report on the NORPAC Sleigh, Santa Randy Cook shared “before” and “after” photos of the sleigh that is being rebuilt for use by NORPAC members. It has turned into a big project and the present goal is to have it completed and ready to use for the 2016 season. Santa Russell volunteered that he has room to store the sleigh in order to keep it dry during the winter so it will be ready to paint in the spring after the weather warms up.

      Round Table Discussion #3: “Salary Survey Results” was shared by Santa Dennis Gorley. Several months ago he sent a survey to NORPAC members inquiring about hours worked as Santa, compensation received in various types of venues, etc. Dennis has compiled the data from the surveys received and reports considerable variability from one Santa to the next. He emphasized that while we all “do Santa for the kids,” it also costs a lot for Santa suits, accessories, props, hair care products, travel, and so forth. Dennis shared that: “the market will dictate” the appropriate fee for most events and he encouraged us not to undervalue ourselves. He’d be glad to share further specific details from the survey with anyone from NORPAC who might have that interest.

      Ornament Exchange & Raffle Drawing occurred next. Both of these activities seem to get larger each year with more people exchanging ornaments and more people contributing baskets or other raffle items. The raffle concluded with the 50/50 drawing for half of the $870 total collected, per Santa Dennis G. The winning ticket had been purchased by Santa Gene & Trish Sanders who received $435.

      Comedian Brett Hollis entertained us with a delightful stand-up comedy routine that went on for about 40 minutes following lunch. Brett was wonderful and had everyone laughing gleefully with his many jokes and stories on a variety of topics. Lots of fun!

      Parade. After changing into our various “business suits,” the Santas, Mrs. Clauses, the Grinch, and an elf or two paraded through the Great Wolf Lodge singing several songs. This was followed by pictures and informal visiting with hotel guests. This was the concluding activity of the conference.

      Conference Evaluation. Santa Dennis Simpson encouraged everyone to complete a written evaluation of this year’s conference. Dennis emphasized that these evaluations are read carefully and that they provide the suggestions for future changes. If anyone has additional input, please share that with Dennis.

      A big THANK YOU! is extended to guest speaker Cheryl Cummings, comedian Brett Hollis, vendor Katie Bryant of A+ Sewing Services, the NORPAC members who led discussions and presentations, the planning committee members, Santa Ramsey for leading the karaoke, the Trevor Waltos family for table decorations, Santa Dennis S. for providing the materials and ideas for the “Make & Take” craft table, sponsor Espresso Products Direct, and the Great Wolf Lodge along with its staff.

      Respectfully submitted,
      Santa Dale Scott, NORPAC Secretary

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    Meeting Minutes Northwest Santa Workshop Nov 5-7 2015

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