EL RENO, Oklahoma - A holiday tradition is beginning to take shape in El Reno.

Larry and Nancy Salsman have played Santa and Mrs. Claus for the past 14 years. They appear at events together starting in early December and never take a dime for their work.

Instead, the couple receives toy donations which are given to families the week before Christmas at the El Reno VFW.

“It’s a lot more than just a spur of the moment process,” said Nancy Salsman, whose father was a member of the El Reno VFW.

Nancy started working as Mrs. Claus with another Santa Claus more than 20 years ago. When he retired from the job, she asked her husband to assume the role.

“It’s just a good warm feeling to get to do something that’s going to help kids,” said Larry.

Though lately, toys haven’t been at the top of all kids’ wish lists.

“You get a tear in your eye when you see a 3 or 4-year-old asking for a blanket to stay warm,” said Nancy.

On November 5, the Salsmans will hold a fundraising dinner/auction at the VFW. Money raised will buy toys and basic necessities like blankets, pillows, socks, and even food.

You can make donations at the VFW in El Reno at 1515 S. Rock Island Ave.