WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - For some, Christmas might not be the same this year after losing one of the most generous man from Burkburnett in November. Doug Green was as close to the real Santa Claus as they come. He was known for his giving during the holidays.
“We’re really nothing special, we’re just here trying to help,” said Green during an interview in 2013.
Humble and kind is how the Burkburnett Volunteer Fire Department described him.
“He did his part 24/7 365 days,” said Robert Wade, the captain for Burkburnett VFD. “It wasn’t just around Christmas time.”
For three decades, Green spread holiday cheer with his red suit and white beard in Burkburnett and the surrounding area.
“There was a family that their mother passed away and we got together and he actually helped deliver toys dressed up as Santa, and that was real good of him,” said Capt. Wade.
Pictures show many in Burkburnett at one point got the chance to whisper their Christmas wish to him.
“If you’ve lived here for a length of time you’ve got a picture of him as Santa with your kids or grand kids,” said Danny Cremeens, the Chairman for the Parks and Recreation board. “I’ve got four in my house right now.”
In many peoples eyes, Green was a fixer of this community so the Parks and Recreation Board believed he deserved some recognition.
“We want to do Mr. Green justice with a really good sign," said Cremeens. "A bronze sign with his image as Santa Claus.”
On Monday, the Board of Commissioners approved the naming of the new playground at Permian Park as a way to honor his memory.
“When you asked him why do you do this, he would say it’s all for the kids and this playground is for the kids so it just fits him perfectly," said Cremeens.
Planning for the new playground started at the beginning of this year and officially opened to the public last week. City officials say the purpose of the new playground is to provide a safe, exciting, and engaging park system for the enjoyment of all ages. The new playground is also ADA accessible.
“Thank you to the community and everyone that supported us and getting this project completed,” said Lawrence Cutrone, the Burkburnett city manager. “It’s a very positive thing that we got done here especially with the dedication of Mr. Doug Green.”
A gofundme account has been set up by the Parks and Recreation board to help raise money to pay for a marker.