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Community rallies around Squires family after inflatable Santa vandalized

The unthinkable happened on Christmas Eve, as the Squires family woke up to find their inflatable Santa display damaged and vandalized with a knife overnight. What happened next was “unreal” according to Patrick Squires.

“My wife, Charlene, put up a post on Facebook about what happened to the inflatable Santa. We just wanted to let people know and we were all upset. After she posted that update, we received many messages and within minutes we had people coming to our door offering cash donations to replace the Santa,” he explains. “We had people dropping off presents, and then we probably had three or four people asking if they could start a gofundme to help.”

Squires was hesitant at first, saying that it’s just something he and his family do for fun, but the community simply wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“My wife came to me with a message from Matt Pepper asking about setting up the gofundme, the Principal of Isabel Campbell School, which my daughter attends. At some point, we said to ourselves that if there are people out there that want to help, we should accept it. We said yes, and I’m pretty sure within 4 or 5 hours we had raised our goal of $2,000. Not only that, once it was full, people were still asking if they could donate more,” he says.

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Squires says that decorating their house has become a tradition and he estimates that between 50 and 100 cars visit their house every night once they’ve put their holiday display up, which is known to be one of the best houses in Grande Prairie to see.

“We’ve been decorating our house every year since my daughter had her second Christmas with us. I bought her three or four little inflatables and she loved them. Each year after that, we added a little more to our Christmas display. It’s something we love to do and we love that the community enjoys it as well, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says.

Squires says that the toughest part of all of it was explaining to his daughter what had happened the night before Christmas.

“We told her in the morning and I said to her that everybody loves the new inflatable Santa we put up, there’s just one person who apparently didn’t. We tried to focus on the generosity of the community and how much enjoyment it provided to everyone,” he says.



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