Santa brings joy to Pelham

Pelham resident Olivia Orton, age 7, visits with Santa at Ballantrae on Dec. 14. (Contributed)

Pelham resident Olivia Orton, age 7, visits with Santa at Ballantrae on Dec. 14. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

Santa visited Ballantrae Golf Club last Saturday to the delight of neighborhood children. “He’s here!” said Head Golf Professional Hal Brown as he welcomed visitors with a glimmer in his eye.

Positioned in front of the gorgeous stone fireplace at the Ballantrae clubhouse, Santa visited with children and posed for photographs.

“Santa’s been coming here for three years,” said Brown. “Many parents were asking us if we could arrange for Santa to come to Ballantrae to talk with kids and have pictures made. We contacted Santa and we were thrilled that he could work us into his schedule.”

“I love coming to Ballantrae to talk to Pelham’s children,” said Santa. “Last year was a little scary because bad weather came along and we had to leave quickly.”

Luckily, Santa left the sleigh stowed away in covered parking that day to keep it fresh for Christmas Eve.

“I was driving a Land Rover away from Pelham in the storm,” Santa said. “That Land Rover was rocking a little bit in the high winds. Of course, my elves and I are used to lots of motion from riding on the sleigh.”

Fortunately, this year good weather accompanied Santa’s Ballantrae visit.

“We had about 30 children come by to see Santa,” said Brown. “Every child was able to spend plenty of one-on-one time with Santa and enjoy some hot chocolate also. Having Santa in the clubhouse is very convenient for the Ballantrae members and community.”

Seven-year-old Olivia Orton enjoyed visiting with Santa at her father’s golf club. Olivia’s baby sister, however, was a little scared.

“She’s too little to understand about Santa,” said Olivia.

“I spent some time with Santa myself,” said Ballantrae General Manager Butch Byrd. “I hope we continue this tradition at Ballantrae for a long time.”

“I’m impressed by the kids here who ask for gifts for others or who ask if I can bring Christmas joy to a family member or friend who is seriously in need of joy,” said Santa.

May the joy of Christmas be yours this year in both the giving and receiving.