Send In The Santa Brigade

Monday, June 6, 2011 - 8:02am

Society of Santa dispatches team to help ailing fellow elf.

Santa Bill says Christmas is back on.

He's been the Santa at Cherry Creek Mall for years and has been Jolly Old Saint Nick for decades in fairs, parades, and events throughout Colorado.

Two months ago he was in a horrible accident that almost took his life.

The good news is: He's back home.

The bad news: His farm and livelihood has suffered.

Bill Lee and his wife Carol own a farm in Idaho Springs called the Laughing Valley Ranch.

It's filled with hundreds of animals, from donkeys and sheep to alpaca and of course, reindeer.

Because of the accident Bill Lee has not been able to work or tend to his farm for months.

The community and several businesses and organizations have come together over the months to raise money and donate their time on the ranch to help the Lees.

Recently, though, the Lees got some more much needed help from a different sort of family.

They're called The Society of Santa (S.O.S.) and a dozen of them have volunteered to help the Lee's farm and animals.

"What we are doing here is taking care of one of our members," Steve Patterson said. "He is a beloved Santa who has a heart as big as this mountain."

"That's the way Santa's work. We wouldn't have it any other way," Larry McEntire, a fellow Santa, said. "Bill is a top-notch Santa, the hardest working man I know."

Bill Lee says he can't wait to be able to work again, but until then he is grateful for all the care, love and prayers he has received from people across the country.

"The outpouring my family and I have received brings tears to my eyes. I appreciate it from everybody. I really do," he said.

Although he is still recovering, he's already thinking about this Christmas season and says Santa will be back.

"Christmas is back on. I wouldn't miss it. I will be there with reindeer pulling the sleigh," he predicted.

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