Media Advisory

DCF logo
State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

December 9, 2011
Nicole Stookey,
Northwest Region Communications Director,
(850) 509-2675

Department of Children and Families, local law enforcement agencies, and area businesses establish "Senior Santa 2011" project throughout region

NORTHWEST REGION – Santa Claus and his helpers will make a special visit next week at numerous area nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and homes of local elderly and vulnerable adults to spread joy during the holiday season as part of the "Senior Santa 2011" project.

"Senior Santa 2011" was established by the Department of Children and Families Adult Protective Services team, in partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida, Inc., local law enforcement agencies and area businesses. "Senior Santa 2011" aims to provide gifts, cards from area children at childcare centers, caroling, food, and a special visit from Santa Claus to the elderly and disabled adult population in Calhoun, Holmes, Gulf, Jackson, Washington, and Bay counties. The project also serves to remind the community to not forget seniors during the holiday season.

Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock and Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen each will replace their traditional police uniforms with Santa's plush red suit and long white beard during visits in their respective areas. Santa will be accompanied by "helpers" from DCF leadership and Adult Protective Services staff, staff from the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida, Inc., and members of local businesses, including Jerry Wilson's Roofing, Charlie Coram's Place, and Williams Gun and Pawn.

Thirteen visits over three days are scheduled throughout the six-county area. Media are invited to attend any of the below visits. Photo and interview opportunities are available.

When: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 879 Usery Road, Chipley, Florida

When: Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.
Where: Bay Center, 1336 St. Andrews Boulevard, Panama City, Florida