In Brownhelm Twp, Lorain County, Santa Clauses will fan out Christmas Eve delivering toys and candy to good little girls and boys.

The tradition began in 1931, when a young girl, a member of the Brownhelm Congregational Church, told the Rev. Ralph Albright that Santa wouldn’t be coming to her house that year because of the Great Depression.

Albright suggested church members donate clothes and toys to the children of the congregation, so santa wouldn’t leave anyone out on Christmas.

The tradition has continued for 80 years, and is carried on by Brownhelm Community Christmas, an organization dedicated to making sure the annual event goes smoothly.

Volunteers mail letters to each of the township’s 800 homes, and residents must reply, saying if they would like Santa to visit. this year, about 300 families are participating.

Kathy Whitmore, a resident who is in charge of one of the 20 routes, said the annual visits require extensive planning and about 100 volunteers. some of the Santas will be accompanied by elves.

Whitmore has been involved in the community christmas for about 30 years, and previously worked in advertising at the Chronicle-Telegram newspaper.

 Children through age 10 receive a small gift, and children 11 through 14 receive a bag of candy.

Retired people receive fruit baskets. The items are paid for by resident donations. Whitmore tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, the event costs about $1,500 a year to conduct.  Get breaking news sent to your mobile phone.Text "news" to 21095.

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