KANSAS (CNN) – He is “Santa Claus” in Overland Park, Kansas for years bringing joy to children in the city. Now he needs the public’s help. It’s after his ride was stolen, along with a very prized possession inside. Gary Senner; most kids know him as the big man himself, Santa Claus.
“Santa Claus,” “Father Christmas,” “Papa Noel”. There’s an awful lot of names that you could call me that’s for sure. For 40 years, holly jolly ole Saint Nick has made it his mission.
Senner said, “Of trying to bring joy to as many children as I can.”
At parties, churches or hospitals, that’s where he was first hooked one Christmas Eve when meeting a girl just out of surgery.
Senner said, “The child opened its eyes and said ‘Santa’, and it was probably one of the most incredible moments for me.”
He’s helping people the other 11 months of the year also as a medical driver. His beard starts around August, but it’s Thanksgiving when the transformation is complete. Like the ornament on top of the tree, his suit is the final touch. His suit isn’t your ordinary Santa red, it’s a 10 year old European Santa suit handmade and likely worth as much as a thousand dollars.
Senner said, “Money is not the importance of it. It’s really… I’m very very connected to me.”
A thief stole it along with Senner’s van from this quick trip Saturday.
Senner said “I’m devastated. It’s an heirloom for me.”
Now, not being able to give the gift of Christmas himself, he’s hoping for a Christmas miracle, for the suit to be returned. Meanwhile, because of his service to others, others are trying to give back to him, secretly creating a fundraiser on his behalf.
Senner said, “Wow, that’s pretty amazing. I didn’t expect that.”