Local Philanthropist Honored With Two Awards

Keith Carson, founder of the South Florida-based Believe in Santa Foundation, just returned from Branson, Mo., where he joined about 800 professional Santa Clauses and Mrs. Clauses for Discover Santa 2016, or more commonly referred to as the Kringle Family Reunion.

Carson’s nonprofit organization was honored with two prestigious awards during the five-day convention, the largest group of Santas ever to meet anywhere in the world. The International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas (IBRBS) presented its Santa’s Heart Award for National Charitable Group Santa of the Year to Carson at a ceremony aboard the Branson Belle.

During the closing ceremonies, which featured this year’s inductions into the Santa Claus Hall of Fame, Carson was given the Through the Eyes of a Child Award by the Santa Claus Oath Foundation for his efforts in helping children in need.

The all-volunteer Believe in Santa Foundation helps children in need all year long by providing visits from Santa Claus, who brings gifts, poses for photos and spends quality time with each child. The organization assists children living in poverty, crime victims, disaster survivors, the hospitalized, the terminally ill and children of a serviceman or woman.

For more about the Believe in Santa Foundation, visit www.believeinsanta.com.

ABOVE: Keith Carson (left) receives the Santa’s Heart Award from Stephen Arnold of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas.