Metro-East News

Volunteers raise funds to spruce up Santa’s House

Repair work is underway on the Belleville Santa Clause House after some rotten boards and a roof in bad shape were noticed during it's last paint job. Here, carpenter Jim Poe, left, and head carpenter Steve Dietz, both with Faber Contracting, rip off bad boards as they prepare to put on new exterior wood.
Repair work is underway on the Belleville Santa Clause House after some rotten boards and a roof in bad shape were noticed during it's last paint job. Here, carpenter Jim Poe, left, and head carpenter Steve Dietz, both with Faber Contracting, rip off bad boards as they prepare to put on new exterior wood. News-Democrat

Volunteers have reached their fundraising goal and are hard at work sprucing up Santa Claus’ Belleville home. It’s getting a new roof, doors, siding and a fresh coat of paint.

Santa’s Belleville house was built in 1963, and weather and time has taken it’s toll. The Optimist Club launched a fundraising effort earlier this year to raise the $5,000 needed to make the necessary repairs.

Cindy Hawkins, chairwoman of the club’s Santa committee, said the club recently reached its goal with cash and in-kind donations and repair worked started this week.

Donations included $2,000 from the city’s Downtown Development/Redevelopment Committee and $500 from Belleville Main Street. The club also got discounted construction materials from Arrowhead Building Supply and Wilke Window and Door in Shiloh.

Cash donations totaled $4,800, and Hawkins said with the in-kind donations, the club was pleased to exceed its goal.

“This will give us some money left in the account for unexpected things or some repairs down the road,” Hawkins said.

Crew members with Faber Contracting in Belleville, including Hawkin’s son Kyle, are completing the work on the roof and siding.

Cindy Hawkins estimated the exterior work would be completed this week, and then Optimist Club members will do the interior work next month.

“We are hoping to get it back in good shape,” Cindy Hawkins said.

The Optimist Club plans to move the renovated Santa House into place on the Belleville’s Public Square the weekend of Nov. 15. It will open following the Santa parade on Nov. 27 and remain open through Christmas Eve.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Cindy Hawkins said of the community’s support of the Santa House. “It’s such a tradition in Belleville.”

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at jforsythe1@bnd.com or 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter: @BND_JForsythe.

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