Manitoba

Santa to lengthen 'nice' list as Samaritans offer to fix float

Like elves in Santa's workshop, Winnipeggers are coming out of the woodwork to ensure Santa's vandalized sleigh will sail once again be in the city's annual winter parade.

Like elves in Santa's workshop, Winnipeggers are comingout of the woodworkto ensureSanta's vandalized sleigh willsail onceagainbe in the city's annual winter parade.

Earlier this week, vandals broke into a west Winnipeg storage facility where the Winnipeg chapter of Junior Chamber International— the Jaycees— was temporarily housingits float, a model of Santa's sleigh and reindeer.

The Grinches yanked off Rudolph's shiny red nose and left a sea of broken fibreglass hooves, antlers and reindeer bodies strewn about the scene.

The vehicle's shell, made of vintage Eaton's catalogues from the 1950s and 1960s, remains intact —but repairs were expected to cost about $2,000.

Garth Shaw, collision centre manager at Murray Chevrolet Hummer, has offered to do what he can to repair the damage.

"I haven't seen them, so I don't know how severe the damage is, but we're going to try to do some reconstructive surgery on Rudolph and his nose that got ripped off, and fix up any of the other ones that had to be done— I understand their hooves got broken," he said.

Eastside Industrial Coatings has also stepped forward to help fix the float, which the Jaycees took over from the Eaton's department store in the 1970s. The float itself is estimated to be about 50 years old.

The Jayceesspentthousands of dollars just last year to refurbishit forthe Grey Cup parade.

"As a not-for-profit organization, this is particularly frustrating," president Jamie Jurczak said in a release.

The Jaycees are also looking for a permanent storage facility for the float, which Jurczak described as a "constant struggle," givenits large size and the organization's small budget.

Shaw hopes to have the float fixed by September, well ahead of the annual Santa Claus parade onNov. 17.

"It's just the right thing to do," he said."It just immediately came to me that they're going to need some help, and I just thought right away that I need to do something."