A tradition started by retired foreman Frank McCale about 35 years ago, lives on this holiday season. This year, a group of around 60 PECO employees from the Luzerne Service Building in North Philadelphia, continued Frank’s legacy raising spirits and $1,700 in donations for St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Proud of the example set by these employees, PECO committed to match that donation.
Lauro Llamas has been with PECO for 26 years and can remember fondly of his first year at PECO where he took part in this tradition. When Frank retired, it was an easy decision for Lauro to pick up where Frank left off. “Being able to serve the babies, and children, especially when they’re in need. It leaves you speechless,” Lauro shared.
In search of a Santa Claus, Lauro came to lineworker, Derrick Becker asking if he would be the big man himself, and Derrick jumped on the opportunity. With many obstacles this year, particularly COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, Derrick was still determined to step into the role of Santa. ”Every year we visit (the hospital), but this year was a little different” Derrick shared, “I dressed up as Santa and went up in a bucket truck and got to see all the children and smile and wave. They seemed really happy to see Santa, which made me really happy to be Santa.”
While this was not the original plan, Lauro thinks this is a new tradition they can continue for years to come.