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Santa begins a new tradition in Shepherdsville

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - When Scott Ellis was first campaigning in his run for mayor, he talked with his wife about wanting to do something to help families during the holiday season.

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Learning that the rate of free and reduced lunches at the schools in the Shepherdsville city limits was very high, Ellis knew there was a need.

During his first year in office, the only focus as mayor was trying to make sure the city of Shepherdsville found a way to survive.

In year two, Ellis said the financial issues have improved and it was time to start thinking about helping the community.

In less than two months, the organization and execution of the Shepherdsville Santa program quickly came together to help over 120 families this holiday season.

“I’m proud of this,” said Ellis. “We’ve been able to do something to help families in our community.”

The organization came together quickly and Ellis said a few roadblocks were held and letters were written to businesses seeking their support. Individuals came together.

“It has been pretty amazing,” said Ellis.

The Shepherdsville Police Department got behind the efforts, as well as the other city employees. Ellis said the Shepherdsville city council endorsed the project and some, including Faith Portman and newcomer Dana James, were at the roadblocks collecting.

Pam Peavler was a major organizer and police officer Bryan Whittaker brought his experience from the very successful Operation Santa in Hillview to the table.

“There’s just so many people who have made it all possible,” said Ellis. “I’m proud that within a few weeks we have been able to help 120 families in our community.”

Having the opportunity to get started much earlier next year, Ellis said he is looking to provide much more help to families in the community next Christmas.

“We want to make it much bigger,” said Ellis. “It is bad that there are families who need assistance. But it is great that we can be there for them and provide a little assistance during the holiday season.”

The lines were long on Friday and Saturday as police officers, firefighters and others volunteered their time to load boxes for the recipients.