Michael Yount has been a Mason since 1974, a member of the Masonic Homes Kentucky Board of Directors since 2016–and Santa’s Helper since 2013. That’s the first year he started growing out his beard, donning a red suit, and visiting the students at Sproutlings Pediatric Day Care & Preschool.
He starts growing his beard in April, and promptly shaves the day after Christmas. “It’s a pain to keep it groomed and to keep the cookie crumbs out of it, but it’s necessary; every one of the kids will pull on the beard and see if it’s real,” said Michael. He added that the children are often stunned that Santa would take time out of his busy day to visit and take pictures with them. “Nothing brings joy to my heart more than making a child smile.”
However, it’s not just children who enjoy a visit from Santa. Michael also visits the residents at the Louisville and Shelbyville campuses, where he passes out gifts such as blankets and care packages, and always stops for pictures. “The visits bring them back to their childhood; everyone is excited to see Santa Claus.”