Bill Looney’s legacy lives on

Apr 2nd, 2016 | By | Category: News

Bill Looney brightened the lives of seniors by dressing as Santa Claus and visiting them in nursing homes. After he died last September, his family kept his legacy alive by donating $10,000 through the William A. Looney Family Foundation to pay for 165 holiday-season gifts from Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) to senior clients in its home care and Meals on Wheels programs.

LCSNW officials said the recipients, many of them moved to tears, “were so grateful for being remembered.”

The result of the first year of giving through Santa for Seniors, which he founded, would have warmed her husband’s heart, said Trudy Looney.

“Making this organization happen was definitely Bill’s passion, and he worked on it practically up to the time of his death,” she said.

The inspiration for Santa for Seniors began when Looney volunteered to play the role of Santa for a Christmas party at his mother’s nursing home. He bought a Santa outfit and later wrote about the experience of interacting with the residents and handing out gifts that the home provided.

“The joy on their faces” was unforgettable for him, he wrote.

Believing that “thousands of elderly people, either home-bound or in small adult-care facilities, were being forgotten at Christmas,” he began “establishing an organization whose main goal wouuld be to make sure that anyone that wanted a visit from Santa Claus could be accommodated.” The visits and gifts will be coordinated through churches, senior centers and other organizations and businesses.

“At least one day a year, we can make (seniors) feel special,” Looney wrote.

Bill Looney brightened the lives of seniors by dressing as Santa Claus and visiting them in nursing homes.

Bill Looney brightened the lives of seniors by dressing as Santa Claus and visiting them in nursing homes.

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