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Elf Without Jingles

Meet Bill Dickson: commissioner, Santa Claus, and full-time volunteer, moving on

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Posted (edited)

Bill Dickson: commissioner, Santa Claus, full-time volunteer, moving on

by David James Heiss, Banning, California Record Gazette | Posted: 04-13-2017

EXCERPT:

THE PASS, CALIFORNIA --- The Pass region's most familiar Santa Claus is about to move on, with some big shoes to fill.

Bill Dickson, a former planning commissioner for the City of Banning, and a past elected official to the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency, is about to move on northwards, after 17 years of service in the Pass area --- two in Cherry Valley, and the remaining 15 in Banning.

For years, he cheerfully devoted himself to serving various organizations, as he continued to portray Santa at numerous events around the holidays, among them BPAL's Shop with a Cop program; and the San Gorgonio Pass Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's annual toy giveaway event.

Sue Barnett, who was Bill's loyal Mrs. Claus, says she'll miss his camaraderie. "He taught me so much, when it came to working with the public," she says, "like how to get food donations from various places for the many committees that we were on." She surmises that over the course of their five or six years together, they played the Clauses for more than 20 events each December.

"He's such an outgoing person. I don't think that he's ever met a person that he doesn't like," she continues. "There's just so much to say about him. People just take to him."

The Banning City Council accordingly took notice, and commended Dickson with a Proclamation in his honor at their meeting on Tuesday evening. "He's meant so much to our city, and done so much for our city over the years, that there's just no way we could let him outta here without a proper farewell," said Mayor George Moyer.

As Dickson received his Proclamation and hugged his fellow Councilmembers, he received as well a huge standing ovation.

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Edited by Elf Without Jingles
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