PEWAUKEE — To honor his mother's dying wish, a Pewaukee man built a sleigh so he can spread Christmas cheer to everyone far and near.
"Well, ever since I could remember Christmas was always the biggest deal in our house.”
This year the holidays are a lot different for Bob Fuchs and his family. Bob's mom, Kathleen, died in October.
Kathleen was a big fan of Christmas. That rubbed off on her son. For the past few years, Bob has been dressing up as Santa to spread holiday cheer.
Before Kathleen died, she was in a nursing home for nine months. She was unable to see much of her family due to COVID-19 restrictions. It was an isolating experience that resulted in what her last wish would be.
She asked her son to make sure everyone felt Christmas cheer, that no one was left alone, and that the sleigh he was building would be put to good use.
So Bob went to work. He needed some funding so he reached out on his Facebook account. Within the day he raised $2,000. He purchased a sleigh from the 1890's and refurbished it with the help of Sunset Playhouse and other community members.
Now he is planning on going around southeast Wisconsin, bringing a bit of hope and light to anyone that needs it.
"There are people that are sick. There are people that can’t go out. That you have to go to people, and you have to remind them that they’re not forgotten," Bob said.
His first stop was at the Ronald McDonald house. He has many more planned, though:
- Dec. 5 - Oconomowoc Christmas Parade as the Grinch
- Dec. 6 - Jingle Bell Drive By in Port Washington
- Dec. 13 - Doughnuts with Santa in Milwaukee
- Dec. 13 - Celebrate Inclusion Winter Walk
- Dec. 20 - Azura Memory Care
These are just his scheduled visits. He makes personal stops too if you reach out to him on his Facebook account, 'Bob Fuchs' or his email, which is email@example.com.
Already one person has reached out to him for a drive-by of a man's house for his birthday and Bob gladly went.
For all the people he has brought joy to so far, he gets just as much if not more in return. Dressing up as Santa and building the sleigh has been a cathartic experience for him.
"This has gotten me through the grief."
Plus, he knows when he is on his sleigh he isn't alone.
"She was there - is there with me."
His mom never got to see the finished sleigh, but Bob has a pretty good idea of what kind of motherly words she would say.
“Be careful and don’t fall off,” he said laughing.