630 CHED Santas Anonymous
The mission of 630 CHED Santas Anonymous was inspired by a simple wish: to see every child receive a new toy at Christmas. Throughout the years, the staff at 630 CHED and volunteers from our community have worked together to make this wish come true.
Today, we have a board of directors comprised of dedicated 630 CHED staff members and volunteers from various walks of life who share their valuable expertise. The board meets once a month to guide the program, set policy, and act as a resource for our Executive Director, Lana Nordlund.
One of the reasons 630 CHED Santas Anonymous has been successful over the years is because it touches so many people. It is likely someone you know was once a recipient of our program. As you would expect, we help people on assistance as well as the working poor. What people often fail to realize is that we also assist families who find themselves facing difficult circumstances. If a mom or dad lose their job just before Christmas and the family must struggle to make ends meet, we will be there to ensure that every child has a new toy on Christmas morning. That family may never require our services again, but on that important day it made a difference to be remembered.
It is not just the recipients whom embrace 630 CHED Santas Anonymous. The essence of what we do is driven by thousands of volunteers who take the time to buy, collect, wrap and deliver toys. Santas Depot is a flurry of activity in November and December as these selfless heroes give their time to ensure that every request for a new toy is filled and in the hands of a child come Christmas morning.
Our Founder Jerry Forbes
Santas Anonymous was founded in 1955 on 1080 CHED Radio by Jerry Forbes. While Jerry’s real name was Murray McIntyre Forbes, he adopted the alias “Jerry” for his on-air work. Jerry started broadcasting career at CFRN in 1947. He is also known for his CHED Good Guy program, his daily humanity editorials “Thought for the Day,” and for his amazing singing voice.
When 1080 CHED signed on in 1954, Jerry was their first Production Manager. He worked his way up through the years to become the station’s General Manager. CHED moved from 1080 to the familiar 630 dial position a few years later as 630 was a better frequency, and reaches virtually 75% of the Province of Alberta.
Jerry has been recognized with several broadcast industry achievements including the highly regarded Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the honor of having four City of Edmonton streets named after him in Falconer Heights and Riverbend.
When asked why he was first compelled to start Santas Anonymous, Jerry replied: “Wouldn’t it be great if there would be no needy kids…and every kid had a present…not a used present…with wheels stuck on and repainted….but a brand new present. From that modest start we said well…let’s do it. So we went ahead and for the first few years we ran it up on the second floor here just with my staff and from there it just grew and grew.”
Jerry spent 28 years at CHED and retired in June of 1981. He passed away in September of 1981 and is buried in his birth place of Innisfail, Alberta.
Jerry Forbes was once asked how he would like to be remembered after he died. His response was simply: “Just to be remembered as a decent guy.” Jerry would never know how many people he has helped since that simple beginning of Santas Anonymous in 1955.
President – Radiowise Inc.
Morning Man, CJAY-FM Calgary