Kate’s Corner: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories

Seven years ago, the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce asked resident, Michael Herbert, to play the role of Santa Claus for the annual tree lighting. As soon as he laced up his black boots and pulled his Santa hat on, Herbert was hooked on the opportunity to bring joy to residents both young and old. Since then, his Santa resume has expanded, and he’s suited up for various events around town including the annual kids Christmas party at the Winthrop Yacht Club, the senior center, the nursing home, and the Winthrop High School Breakfast with Santa.

“I love to hear what they all want for Christmas,” said Herbert, who shared that “unicorns” seems to be the hot gift this year. “The best thing is when an eight year old runs across the room yelling Santa and follows it up with a big hug. That is priceless and nothing can buy that. They believe.”

It’s takes a special person to play Santa, and Herbert’s passion for bringing smiles to the faces of all who cross his path during the holiday season, is proof that he is cut out for the part. But, Herbert’s love for the town of Winthrop is what really propels him to play an exquisite Santa. 

“I feel so blessed to have had the greatest parents and siblings and grow up in this community,” said the lifelong Point Shirley resident. “The harbor is overwhelmed with history and I’ve been fortunate enough to have this literally as my backyard. My ultimate dream is to play Santa and deliver gifts to the lighthouses.” 

Herbert’s love of history landed him as the President of the Winthrop Improvement and Historical Association (WIHA). After joining WIHA in 2005, he spent several years absorbing every aspect of the Association, making him fully capable to serve as the President today. Since his leadership, Herbert has brought his passion to the forefront, executing new events to raise money and educate the community on WIHA. His most recent endeavor was a black-tie auction to raise money for a new sprinkler system for the Deane Winthrop House. The jazz-filled evening, held in the barn, was a success. As president of the Association, Herbert always keeps the residents in mind, which is why he has led the push to open the barn doors for wedding parties, birthdays, and bridal showers as an inexpensive alternative for the  community to appreciate  and have run of the grounds.

Like most leaders, Herbert credits his team of volunteers and board members to his success.

“I wouldn’t be able to do my job without the dedication and assistance of: Dave Hubbard, Claire Hubbard, Sandra Schiff, Stephanie Honan, Diane Blumenthal, Christine Riley, Lauren Mazzucchelli, Kathy Vorse, John Reagan, Steve Belmonte, Alan Geangregorio, George Rainville, Jeff Schiff, Frank Costantino, Steve Honan, Marge and Dick Dimes, Lauren Craig, Steve and Jean Stoddard, Sarah Campbell and Ellen Mcneil

They are an amazing crew that somehow, we pull off all these events to care for and keep our National Treasure safe.”

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