The Glen Gets into the Holiday Spirit with Donation to Fix Vandalized Christmas Display

WGI Pledges $500 Donation to Assist in Rebuilding of Popular Display

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WGI is giving $500 to Charlie and Debbie Santi to help them repair their Christmas display that was damaged by vandalism.


Watkins Glen International has long recognized its position as a community leader and the legendary road course is getting into the holiday spirit with a very special gift.  WGI is proud to announce that it will donate $500 to Charlie and Debbie Santi of Horseheads, NY, to help them repair and rebuild their extensive Christmas display that was vandalized earlier this week.  The display was started by Debbie’s late mother, Loretto Chapman, numerous years ago and was taken up by the Santi’s as a tribute to Chapman following her passing in 1995. 

“I was truly touched by the Santi’s story as I drive past the display each day plus the fact that my own children have enjoyed viewing it during the holiday season,” said Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International.  “This family has spent their own money to provide a tribute to Debbie’s late mother and, in turn, has given our community a wonderful display everyone can enjoy during the holidays.  I hope some of our fans will join us in helping Charlie and Debbie not only repair but improve something that has become a staple of our area during this time of year.”

“I first want to thank Watkins Glen International for this very generous donation,” said Charlie Santi.  “This will not only help cover the cost of the repairs we have already made but also allow us to expand our display next year.  For several years I have hoped to add a full nativity scene and upgrade our sound system so as to play real Christmas music instead of the computer-generated music we have been using and this donation will assist in achieving our goal.”

The vandalism took place sometime between the late night on Tuesday, December 28, and the early morning on Wednesday, December 29.  The damage included the slicing and subsequent deflating of a large inflatable penguin, knocking over and rearranging of reindeer, tearing down of Christmas lights, and toppling an antenna.  Charlie Santi estimated that the couple of spent over $2,500 of their own money in the building of the display to the size it was prior to the vandalism.  Anyone interested in making a donation can send them to Display Donations, Attn: Charlie and Debbie Santi, 6 Hickory Grove Rd, Horseheads, NY 14845. 

This is just the latest example of the extensive donations made by WGI to groups and organizations located in Upstate New York.  The list of organizations that have received donations in 2010 includes, but is not limited to, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, American Red Cross, and Corning West High School Marching Band.

Tickets for the 2011 race season at Watkins Glen International are on sale NOW! Fans can learn more about the 2011 race season at Watkins Glen International by calling the ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or logging on to the official website,  Gift certificates and track merchandise can all be purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen.  The Shop is open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 10-4, and closed on Sunday.

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