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Elf Without Jingles

Cancer can't stop the Christmas spirit for local Santa Claus

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Posted (edited)

Cancer can't stop the Christmas spirit for local Santa Claus

by Bill Rettew, Jr., West Chester, PA Daily Local News | Posted: 03-07-2017, 3:44 PM EST


EAST BRADFORD, MASS. --- Even Santa Claus gets a little ill every once in a while.

Even if Jerry Corrado, a/k/a Santa Claus, is now sitting in a hospital bed, he's still preparing for 2017's Christmas celebration. Five years ago, Jerry gave up counting how many lights there were that annually twinkle on his two-acre property on Knobb Hill Drive, a display he has run for the last 10 Christmas holidays.

50 blow-up holiday and movie figures also cover the lawn. Jerry's electric bill increases by some $650 for the time period between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve each year. Even more importantly, through the massive display, Jerry has collected over 10,000 unwrapped toys for kids at the Chester County Hospital. Those toys are now destined for the emergency room and the pediatrics and oncology units of the hospital.

As part of a new twist, Alzheimer's patients receive word puzzles.

"Every year it gets bigger and bigger. It takes just two months just to set it all up," Jerry explained to this reporter from his hospital bed at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Rhoads Building. He was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) after feeling ill while he was taking down his most recent display in late January.

With the roles now reversed, and Jerry now visiting the hospital, "Santa" now spoke about the children. "They can't believe it, their faces," he said. " 'You're not Santa, you're that light guy,' they say. It's really something, all those smiles from ear to ear."

Christmas carols serenade the guests while the cars line up on Knobb Hill Drive. Many visitors leave their cars to walk through the massive display.

The man whose favorite holiday is Christmas went on to say that he stores his display in an attic above his garage, a shed in the backyard, and one side of a two-car garage.


Edited by Elf Without Jingles
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