Santa Joe visits kids at Trilith

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Fayetteville residents Parker Bryan, 5, (at left), Ali Bryan, 9, and J.T. Bryan, 2, were at Trilith in Fayetteville on Dec. 5 to spend time with Santa. Photo/Ben Nelms.
Fayetteville residents Parker Bryan, 5, (at left), Ali Bryan, 9, and J.T. Bryan, 2, were at Trilith in Fayetteville on Dec. 5 to spend time with Santa. Photo/Ben Nelms.

The Real Deal Santa Joe McGee is making the rounds again this Christmas season. Raising money to help fight pediatric cancer, Santa Joe stopped at Trilith in Fayetteville on Dec. 5 to hear the Christmas wishes of a group of youngsters.

Donations, which come with no minimum, are requested, but not required. Every dollar of the donations received from visits with Santa Joe during the Christmas season benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute (UFPTI) through the nonprofit Santa David’s Children Fund. The goal for 2020 is $50,000.

Santa Joe in the past seven years has raised $160,000 for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and UFPTI.

Like his brother, David, who was also a Santa, Joe in March 2012 learned that he, too, had prostate cancer.

Commenting on the experience he had at the UFPTI, Santa Joe said, “The day I walked in the doors and saw the first bald-headed girl, playing in the lobby with their myriad of toys and art projects, I knew I was led there for a reason. My eyes filled with tears, and I thanked the Lord for bringing me to UFPTI. I also knew that if David were alive, he would want to help these children.

“It was then I decided I could carry on his legacy as a Santa. I used to feel that by doing so, I would somehow be stealing some of David’s thunder. Now I know that with the nonprofit charity ‘The Santa David Children’s Fund,’ it will only help to make his thunder better known,” Santa Joe said.

Santa David’s Children’s Fund is a 501(c)(93) nonprofit and participates in a variety of events.

For more information visit www.therealdealsanta.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/santajoemcgee

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