Bob Denyer has followed Coach Lloyd Carr’s career since his high school coaching days, when Denyer himself played football at Brother Rice High School. So, when he saw the devastation following the loss of Lloyd’s grandson Chad Carr to DIPG years later, he wanted to help in any way he could.

For the last 15 years, Denyer has dressed up as Santa Claus to bring joy to children and families. “I don’t do it for the money,” says Denyer. He continues, “When I learned of Chad and his cancer, and the foundation they set up after he passed, I thought gosh, what a wonderful charity. That’s when I designated The ChadTough Foundation for any donation I get dressing up as Santa Claus.”

Denyer has donated all funds earned through his Santa gig the last five years to The ChadTough Foundation. Any time he suits up as Santa, Denyer discloses that he will be donating all of the funds to ChadTough. Not only has Denyer raised donations for The ChadTough Foundation, but he’s also used his power as ‘Santa’ to spread awareness about the debilitating disease known as DIPG and the difference that ChadTough is making.

At a family Christmas party a few years ago, Denyer was able to make a big impact in just one night. He says, “The family knew where donations were going so they put together a donation box. People filled it with cash and checks – it was the single largest round of donations I had gotten for the foundation. There was about $600 raised that night. Most of the attendees remembered Chad and vaguely knew about The ChadTough Foundation, so I was able to spread the word about its work.”

Denyer truly embodies the giving holiday spirit. He started playing Santa because he wanted to provide more happiness in the holiday season. Of being recognized by ChadTough, Denyer says, “I feel so honored to be recognized. I’m doing such a small part that I almost don’t feel worthy. I am just happy that I am able to give back to this wonderful foundation in the ways that I can.”

-By Alexa Austin, a ChadTough Volunteer Writer