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Friday, February 5, 2021

Santa's virtual grotto raises £1,073 for air ambulance

* Santa Claus beams a personal Christmas message from his virtual grotto.

A series of personalised Christmas video messages by Santa Claus from his virtual grotto in Llangollen raised over £1,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance.

Sion Corn, as he's known in Welsh, works closely each year with Austin "Chem" Cheminais - now the town's mayor - to boost funds for the air ambulance and other local good causes, with cash coming in from Llangollen's annual Christmas festival as well as personal appearances and quizzes during December.

Between £500 and £1,000 is usually raised for the air ambulance alone.

But Christmas 2020 was very different due to Covid-19 restrictions, which saw the festival cancelled, so Santa had to find a new and safer way of fundraising.

He and Chem came up with the idea of setting up a properly isolated grotto from where Santa used the internet to beam personalised seasonal messages to people prepared to make a small donation to the usual causes. 

Chem said: "Although most requests were Llangollen-based Santa had requests for messages from across the UK and as far away as the USA.

"He produced over 50 video clips and raised a very healthy £1,075 for the Wales Air Ambulance for which he and I are very grateful."

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