Local soccer coach volunteer Dale Webster has brought smiles and joy to kids and adults since 1980. both as a kindergarten soccer coach, and playing Santa to team members.
“I thought it would be a neat thing to do,” said Webster, so wife Roberta sewed him a suit. His role as Santa spread through Altus, and started he visiting others outside of his soccer group. As Santa, he started visiting the migrant lab, churches, schools, Altus Air Force Base, ACMI House, nursing homes, retirement villages, hospitals, the park and other areas and groups.
Three weeks ago, Webster made a very unique trip to the VA Center Dementia Ward in Claremore. The center is a Veteran’s nursing home facility and the Dementia Ward rarely receives visitors. The trip was extra special for the 65 Veterans with dementia. The director would tell each person they had a visitor, then volunteers entered with small gifts, and last entered Santa. “The Veterans with dementia had huge smiles, and their happiness was known through our conversations,” said Santa Webster.
Webster was born and raised in Washington state and is retired military. For 21 years he was in the United States Air Force Aircraft Maintenance. He worked from 1973 to 1985 at the Altus Air Force Base, then transferred to upstate New York. After retiring with the Air Force the family returned to Cleo Spring where Dale taught school and served as a principal. Retirement returned them and call it home. Dale and wife Roberta, now spend time with sons Daniel and Rick, and their six grandchildren.
Webster said, “The great part about being a volunteer is the people’s reactions. You see the joy in kids and adults, and the magic of sharing.”
Reach Mary O. Esparzaat 580-482-1221 ext. 2077