Volunteer Santa fired then re-hired by cancer center

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It looks like Santa Claus will be spreading some holiday cheer at the Hollings Cancer Center this year.

In an about-face situation, the staff at MUSC's cancer center said they will have a Santa Claus played by a hospital volunteer a day after announcing they would not be needing his services.

On Tuesday the decision to not have a Santa Claus presence was made because officials were responding to previous complaints from patients with other holiday beliefs who felt excluded.

That announcement was followed with officials receiving a strong response to the sacking of Santa and the staff announcing they re-hired the volunteer St. Nick played by Frank Cloyes, a retired insurance executive.

"Considering the passionate response from our patients and the community, we have therefore decided to allow traditional holiday activities reflecting all beliefs, including Santa, because we recognize the emotional benefit to our patients," Vicky Agnew, Director of Strategic Communications for the Hollings Cancer Center said.

For the past two  years, Cloyes has been portraying Santa Claus giving out snacks and good cheer to cancer patients at the center.  The 67-year-old James Island resident even paid for his own costume rental.

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