94-Year-Old Man Assumes the Role of Santa for Pennsylvania Town and Makes 300 Wooden Toys for Local Children
For more than two decades, Higinbotham has created handcrafted wooden toys. Toy trucks and tractors are some of his specialties. He estimates that since he started his passion project back in the 1980s’ he has given away at least 3,000 toys.
Ed Higinbotham and Santa Claus have some similarities. They both love to make children smile. The 94-year-old Pennsylvania resident has even been called by the local townspeople as the “Fayette Santa.”
For more than two decades, Higinbotham has created handcrafted wooden toys. Toy trucks and tractors are some of his specialties. He estimates that since he started his passion project back in the 1980s, he has given away at least 3,000 toys. The Pennsylvania State Police are in on his act of kindness, too, and for the past three years have distributed Higinbotham’s wooden toys to schools and groups in the community.
On most days, Higinbotham can be seen in his workshop with his supplies: rough wood, power saw, drill press and glue, as he works on his wooden creations.
And, at 94 years old, Higinbotham has no plans of slowing down
“I love to make toys,” the World War II veteran told CBS affiliate KDKA News. “The toys are simple and require nothing more than a child’s imagination.”
Higinbotham personalizes each toy with the day and year it was made.
When KDKA asked how it makes him feel when a child out there could be playing with one of his toys, the World War II veteran got emotional.
“I could almost cry, to be honest with you,” he said.
On Dec. 10, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper, Robert Broadwater posted on the police department's Twitter page.
"Just picked up 300 wooden toys from our friend Ed Higinbotham to be distributed to children this Christmas," said Broadwater, who was photographed with Higinbotham.
He added: “At 94 he still has the drive and determination to see children smile this time of year. WAY TO GO ED!"
When ABC-affiliate, WTAE-TV asked Higinbotham about being the town Santa, he replied cheerfully, “It’s just something that I enjoy doing. And, if I make somebody else happy, and if that’s Santa Claus, then I’m Santa Claus.”
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