Residents of Kinver, Enville and parts of Wollaston and Wall Heath have warned that the annual pre-Christmas visit by the festive gentleman on his sleigh might not happen this year if volunteers cannot be found to help.
The Rotary Club sleigh has become a cherished part of the festive fun in the area since the formation of the club in 1986.
However advancing years, illness and relocation among the membership has left the club with insufficient manpower to carry out the nine evening tours, make daytime visits to five schools and greet customers visiting Aldi stores in Wollaston and Kingswinford.
The club also supports the Mary Stevens Hospice Santa Jog, visits local care homes, and plays an active role in Kinver village’s late-night shopping bonanza.
Roy Sanders, who has played a leading role throughout the life of the sleigh, said: “The manpower requirements for driving the sleigh with associated health and safety back up and those playing the main role as well as preparing the sleigh for the outings and all the significant amounts of administration work can all be met from within the club.
However, if the sleigh is to fulfil its second objective, which is to collect for local charities, we need additional men and women to help us to collect the actual cash.
“On the evening tours we would be asking for assistance from 5.30pm until we cease collecting at 9pm.
"Everyone will be welcome to join in the counting of the cash at a local hostelry and our supermarket collections are broken down to two-hour shifts across two Saturdays.
"Since the sleigh first went out on the roads 35 years ago the club has raised £136,000.
“Like so many organisations, we were forced to cancel our Christmas activities last year and we are anxious to continue where we left off when the record collection in 2019 topped £7,000.
"But we will need help from people who may be prepared to give up a few hours to bring lots of pleasure to children and adults while having fun in the process and playing a part in fundraising exercise which benefits local charities who have become even more needy in these troubled times.”
Anyone willing to help can call Roy on 01384 265477.