Porch event benefits nonprofits|Alligoods open their residencefor dozen years

Published 1:42 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Contributing Writer

Washington-area residents came to the home of Tommy and Barbie Alligood for the 12th-annual Santa on the Porch on Saturday night.
The event was organized to help Eagle Wing’s, a local food pantry and J&J’s Animal Rescue. Visitors were encouraged to make cash and food donations to the two organizations.
The Alligoods decorated their front yard with festive tents and the inside of their house with colorful lights.
The concept of the event began with scattered trips to hospitals and schools around Washington. As the years went by, Santa, or Tommy Alligood, had to settle on a fixed location to accommodate his work schedule.
The Alligoods also had faithful friends using word of mouth and other forms of advertising to promote the event. The tally from last year’s guestbook came in at 500 visitors. The event has drawn guests from outside Washington.
Alligood said that people came to the event despite adverse conditions. He is in his 30th year taking on the role of Santa Claus. Alligood noted that his evening attire was ordered in Washington, and he is now on his fifth red suit.
“I started sitting at 3:30 (p.m.) in the chair, and people still came despite the rain,” Alligood said. “Every year, there is always a good turnout. They were not to be stopped.”
Alligood said he has felt a personal connection to the event.
“I just love doing it for the children. I love hearing what they want for Christmas. It’s in my heart. It breaks my heart when they say they want their family back. I still wish I could do more for them.”