Santa Claus keeping busy in Isle aux Morts
Brandon Lefrense preserves a beloved Christmas tradition for his community
“Seeing other family and friends involved, the stuff that they do within the community, just makes you feel like you want to be a part of it.” —Brandon Lefrense
It is fitting that one of the busiest volunteers in Isle aux Morts turns out to be Santa Claus himself.
Brandon Lefrense works as a service aide on an Ontario ferry service which runs mid-April through mid-October. His schedule affords him the time and energy required to donate the other half of the year to his other passion, volunteer and charity work. This includes spearheading the annual Santa Claus parade as chairperson and also as master of ceremonies where he gets to wear a flashy red suit.
That’s just a start of a busy season for Lefrense. The parade, which was held Dec. 8 this year, kicked off other beloved island traditions, including breakfast with Santa and the lighting of the community Christmas tree.
Keeping the community interested in the parade is important to Lefrense.
“I keep pushing just to keep the tradition alive,” he said. “Through Facebook and handing out letters, I am trying to get more people involved, more organizations involved.
“The last parade had seven entries. I would like to see more people involved. In the past couple of years we’ve opened it up to families and ATVs, just to make it a bit longer and more enjoyable for the kids and the community.”
Lefrense keeps the Christmas spirit of giving alive throughout the year through his other volunteer positions, including being a volunteer firefighter and the department’s secretary and treasurer.
He also regularly helps out with Loyal Orange Lodge events such as dart and bingo nights, as well as dances. Lefrense says he is inspired to donate so much of his time and energy through examples set by other generous folks in Isle aux Morts.
“Seeing other family and friends involved, the stuff that they do within the community, just makes you feel like you want to be a part of it,” he said.
Santa/ Lafrense is gearing up for his next pre-Christmas public appearance by preparing treat bags for each child in Isle aux Morts which he will present to students on the last day of school.
Brandon Lefrense donates his time for a variety of events and traditions in Isle aux Morts.
The alter ego of Brandon Lefrense.