Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
On Dec. 29, a well-known person called Manteca’s Santa passed away. This awesome person, Ben Jetton, spent the last number of years playing Santa to give a positive figure to the kids of Manteca a place to go and at no cost. Should you want a picture with Santa, yes, there was a cost of $5 to pay for the materials but the picture was not copyrighted so one could make copies at no cost.
Ben did this for the love of kids and their desire to believe but he also did for the City of Manteca and it’s down town merchants. His location was a place of tradition with the old Santa’s hut for years in the past by several other Santa’s and Ben wanted to keep this tradition going.
The question is now what do we do? Are the citizens of Manteca and the merchants going to let this icon die or are they willing to volunteer to keep this tradition going? In my opinion, if no one comes forward from the City, the merchants or service clubs within a very few weeks, the new trailer needs to end up as scrap metal and disposed of. Ben is no longer here to take care of it.
The ball is in your court now. What does the community want? Contact the merchants and/or City Council as well as the service clubs and tell them that you want it continued!