GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis City Commissioners honored the memory of Chester Mike Polcyn, the Gallipolis City Park Santa Claus, Tuesday, along with his family for their many years of support in providing Gallia families with its own Santa.
“In privilege of the floor, we have a presentation we want to make this evening,” said Commissioner Steven Wallis. “We asked the family of our Santa Claus to give them a plaque on behalf of the dedication that they have shown to our city while he played Santa for over 40 years. We have Mrs. Karen Polcyn with us this evening and she has brought some family with her and we would like to present this plaque to her.”
According to previous information published by the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, Polcyn had long credited his wife Karen for her support in his role as Santa. He previously survived heart complications and after being released from the hospital roughly 20 years ago, he persisted to return to City Park year in and out to sit as its Santa. He continued to do so until suffering a broken leg in 2016 which prevented him from returning.
Polcyn first became Santa Claus when his first-born was in kindergarten and the school PTO needed a seasonal symbol to hand out Christmas treats. The following year, Polcyn embraced his role as Santa by growing a beard and wearing a custom Santa outfit. What followed next was a decades long tradition of Polcyn sitting in the City Park and meeting with children every December. He rode in the Gallipolis Christmas Parade on a Gallipolis Fire Department ladder truck as part of that tradition. Polcyn served as a Santa for over 40 years.
Polcyn served on the Gallia County Local Schools Board of Education for 11 years and received multiple awards from various educational and youth-centered organizations throughout his life. He received a commendation from the Gallia County Commissioners as well as the Bud and Donna McGhee Award from the Gallia Chember of Commerce posthumously. He is remembered as a U.S. Air Force veteran, a 4-H adviser and member of Calvary Christian Church. Polcyn worked with AT&T for 30 years, along with Ohio Bell and Ameritech.
Polcyn passed away in January 2018.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.