December 8, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WINTER FANTASY SANTA TRIES HARD TO KEEP THE SPIRIT OF SANTA ALIVE
(2008 Winter Fantasy closing weekend is December 13 & 14)
Laguna Beach, Ca – Benny Preston, the official Santa Claus at the 18th annual Winter Fantasy, feels extra pressure this year to keep the spirit of Jolly Old St. Nicholas alive
and well. After recently learning the tragic story of a fellow Santa in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Preston is reaching out to his Santa colleagues across the nation to help support a struggling family that not only lost their very own Santa, but a family member as well. 11-year-old Margie Edwards lost her stepfather, Bobby Reed, in August in a tragic shooing during a family dispute, and without knowing it, young Edwards lost her annual visit from Santa, too. As Santa, Reed worked a very busy holiday season taking time out each year to make sure he visited his stepdaughter, the only one left of her friends who still believed in Santa. This year, the Reed family is experiencing a very different holiday season. Widowed wife and mother Marge Reed is devastated by the loss of her husband, and making it worse, she and her daughter are left with an immense amount of debt as a result of Santa Reed’s death. As soon as Sawdust’s Santa Preston received news of the Reed family’s somber holiday season, he decided to do something about it. Preston confirmed the heartbreaking story, got in touch with the Reed family and immediately began arranging for local Santa David Bates to pay a visit to little Edwards and to keep her holiday spirit alive. To thank Bates for his time and effort, Preston has offered to pay for Bates two years of membership in the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas. Preston has also contacted the Tulsa Salvation army requesting donations to the stressed Reed family,
and has contributed to the family out of his own pocket a $100 gift certificate to Walmart. Support the spirit of Santa and visit Santa Preston at the 18th annual Winter Fantasy at the Sawdust Art Festival. Final weekend is December 13 & 14. Hours are 10 am – 6 pm. Adult admission is $6; Seniors $5, age 65 and up; $3 for children age 6-12; children under five years of age are free; and $9 for a Season Pass. The festival is located at the Sawdust Art Festival, 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. For
additional information, please visit www.sawdustartfestival.org or call 949-494-3030.
and promoting the art created in Laguna Beach.