Santa needs your help!The aftermath of the structure fire. Members of the Murdo Volunteer Fire Department on scene of the fire.A Santa Claus figurine found amongst the ashes. Murdo Fire Chief Patrick Barnes interviews with KELO-TV encouraging people to contribute through the Go Fund Me account for Santa.

This time Santa needs your help

 The sound of pagers alerting a structure fire awakened the Murdo Volunteer Fire Department in the early morning hours of Friday, November 10.
“As soon as the address was received, we knew that it had to be Santa Claus’ (Dale Buxcel’s) home.” Says Murdo Fire Chief Patrick Barnes. “We arrived on scene and found the house totally engulfed in flames. The Murdo and Midland Fire Departments were active on scene for approximately six hours but the structure and all belongings were a complete loss. Following investigation, the fire was ruled as electrical. 
Personally, you may know Dale as a family member, friend or neighbor; but chances are his jolly spirit, generous heart and white beard are what stand out in your mind. Santa has been a member of the Jones County Community for the entirety of his life. He finds great joy in volunteering his time driving buses, chaperoning, running concessions, helping with the Turner Youth Group and overall just showing support and love to his hometown. 
Though you may call Dale a “hometown hero,” his Santa Claus alias is well known across the state. For the past 22 years Dale has served as the Santa Claus figure of the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls, S.D. 
Dale’s sister Krysti Barnes shares that, “He doesn’t even call Santa Clausing work. He showed up in his red suit the morning after the house fire and said that he is just going to get through it because things could be worse.” 
The thing about small communities is that word never fails to travel fast but compassion and generosity travel even faster. A few short hours after the fire had been put out, a Go Fund Me account was set up to help with costs of rebuilding and replacing when he returns home after the holidays. His only remaining belongings are those that he has brought with him to Sioux Falls.
Though  thankfully no one was hurt in the fire, the loss of the home is a great devastation to the Buxcel family. The family ranch house was built in 1948 and six siblings were raised in the home. Though belongings may be replaced, the sentimentality of those lost are irreplaceable. We may not be able to bring back the original, but we can assist in bringing joy to one of the most joyous men we know, and give back to one of the biggest givers of all. Let’s join together in bringing the Merry back to Christmas for our beloved Santa Claus. 
If you would like to contribute to the cause for Santa Claus you can find the Go Fund Me account online at https://www.gofundme. com/helpingmurdosanta.
 A benefit bank account has also been set up at First Fidelity Bank in Murdo. Donations can be made to “Dale Buxcel Benefit Account.”

The Pioneer Review

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Philip, SD 57567
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