Tim Cavendar Inducted into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame
On April 17th, 2015, Tim Cavender, of Ball Ground, Georgia, was inducted into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame (the “ISCHOF”). The ISCHOF is the home of the celebration and study of famous Santa Clauses and Mrs. Clauses from the past and present. This ongoing project preserves the history of the many men and women who greatly have contributed to the legend of Santa Claus. The ISCHOF is dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra, the fourth-century bishop known for his great deeds of generosity. He is the basis for the Santa Claus legend.
Cavender, who is the Public Information Officer for Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services, has been a Santa Claus portrayer for more than 40 years, and was one of only six in the world who was inducted into the ISCHOF in 2015. The induction ceremony took place at the Charles W. Howard Legendary Santa Claus Conference in Albion, New York, in April 2015. Howard established the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, which today is the oldest continuously run Santa school in the world. Howard was also the Santa Claus for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City from 1948 until 1965.
Cavender and his wife, Pam (Mrs. Claus), have appeared at the Georgia Governor’s mansion for the past several years during the lighting of the mansion’s Christmas tree. According to Joy Forth, Executive Director of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, “He (Tim) brings so much joy and delight to the thousands of children and their families. Tim looks just like the traditional Santa Claus and is so perfect to make photographs with the visitors to the Governor’s Mansion.”
Tim and Pam have used their Christmas personalities to assist many charities, including Toys for Tots, the American Cancer Society’s “Love Lights a Tree” and WXIA’s (channel 11) annual “Can-A Thon.” They also have donated their time to visit patients at the Grady Hospital Burn Center.
One of the highlights of Tim’s career occurred in 2009. He and Mrs. Claus were able to make a little girl’s special Christmas wish come true. While visiting Santa in Ball Ground, she asked Santa to bring her daddy, who was a soldier, home from Afghanistan. A few days later, Santa and Mrs. Claus delivered the dad to his little girl. The story was later picked up by CNN and was called “the story of the day.” He also has been featured in USA Today and on numerous covers of several magazines.
Another inductee who has ties to a Georgia company is Haddon Sunbloom. Sunbloom is best remembered for his advertising work, specifically the Santa Claus advertisements he painted for the Coca-Cola Company in the 1930s. His Santa Claus paintings firmly established Sunbloom’s larger-career and supporting documentation; no names, dates, country of origin or internet presence was included; and no distinction between large cities or small villages was made. The candidates were held to a criteria including, overall career, service to their community or company, range of appearances, contribution to the Santa world, length of service, uniqueness of career, originality, and charity.
Some of the previous inductees to the Santa Hall of Fame include: Edmund Gwenn, who portrayed Santa in the 1947 motion picture, Miracle on 34th Street; Mickey Rooney, who was the voice of Santa in the 1970 stop motion production of Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town; Charles W. Howard; and James Edgar, who was the first department store Santa Claus.
Tim’s wife, Pam, submitted the nomination for his induction into the ISCHOF. The ISCHOF exhibit is located inside the historic Santa’s Candy Castle in Santa Claus, Indiana.
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