Face it: for all the magic in that special flying-reindeer food, and for all the alacrity and GPS savvy to visit all the good boys and girls in one night, St. Nick would be lost without a great workshop ethic.
Yep, when it comes to the real magic of Christmas, Santa’s pretty “elf-reliant.”
Local recreation administrators are taking note, and rather than asking Santa for more workout space or recreational equipment, this year’s letters to him are more about support and volunteerism.
To wit, here’s just a sample of what’s gracing recreation agencies’ Christmas wish lists this year:
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“Jolly old Saint Nicholas, lean your ear this way!
“Don’t you tell a single soul, what I’m going to say…”
Carrboro Recreation and Parks recreation supervisor Charles Harrington says his agency is currently accepting head coaching applications.
“What we’d really like from Santa this year is volunteers for the 2017 spring season activities,” he says.
Harrington said there is a particular need for volunteers to work with spring baseball, spring girls volleyball, and spring girls field hockey programs.
Christmas Eve is coming soon; now you dear old man
Whisper what you'll bring to me; tell me if you can
“What we’d really like to ask for from Santa this year is community support through our support group, Friends of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation,” says Chapel Hill recreation manager John Brunner.
Founded in 1992, the registered nonprofit organization (https://friendschparksrec.org) encourages and channels financial assistance to the town’s recreation agency.
“You can support a specific program, area, or project,” Brunner says, “or you could even suggest projects.”
Currently campaigned projects include an inclusive playground, new holds on the town’s Community Center climbing wall, and the annual Dixie Rock climbing competition Back to School Backpack Program.
Brunner suggests helping fund the purchase of an equipment cart for a blind pottery class as well as electric pottery “kick wheels” for pottery programming.
“We’d also love for Santa to deliver some donations for snacks, drinks, art supplies, and sport supplies,” Brunner adds. “Plus we need volunteer coaches for our Special Olympics programs and to help with small projects in our parks.”
“Johnny wants a pair of skates …
Suzy wants a sled …”
Similar requests of Santa are being submitted by YMCA of the Triangle communications director Greg Lee on behalf of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA branch at 980 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
“If I could ask Santa for one thing, I’d ask him for more members of our community, if they could, to give to our annual campaign,” Lee says.
Lee says the campaign solicits funding toward YMCA scholarship programs for members and potential members who otherwise couldn’t afford the programs.
“Every year we need to support more and more of our neighbors who maybe can’t afford programs,” Lee says.
“Billy wants a picture book …
Yellow, blue, and red …”
Just up the road at the Orange County SportsPlex, executive director John Stock is ready to see ground break on a new field house facility, and he’s more than willing to pen that sentiment addressed to the North Pole.
“I started dreaming of the addition when we floated it in the 2012-13 Capital Investment Project five-year plan,” Stock says. “That’s how long I’ve been waiting to see land cleaned and a shovel (break ground) on that.”
According to plans, a new 34,000-35,000-square-foot facility would include an indoor soccer field, a three-lane indoor walking and jogging track, and a basketball court. Stock hopes to see the field house and ready for some use by September of 2017.
“If he could bring that, I’d honestly kiss Santa on the lips,” he says, laughing.
“Now then, I will tell to you, what to give the res …
Choose for me old Santa Claus, you will know the best ...”
As for stocking stuffers, Lee says the YMCA would like to see more sports program volunteers, and he also expresses a need for soccer balls and basketball equipment.
“Essentially we want to see more participation in parks & recreation programming, particularly among youth,” Chapel Hill park and recreation manager Brunner says.
“If the Man in the Red Suit could swing it,” Carrboro recreation and park’s Harrington says, “we’d like some nice weather from March through early June to help us with our outdoor activities.”