Ed Butchart's Bio:
Ed Butchart was born and raised in Guilford County, North Carolina. He attended North Carolina State University and graduated from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He was commissioned an officer in the United States Marine Corps, served 22 years on active duty, and retired. Following retirement from the military, he worked briefly as a broadcast engineer and then sold medical diagnostics products for ten years. During that time he befriended some people with disabilities and in 1986 he and his wife, Annie, incorporated his helping efforts as Friends of Disabled Adults, Inc. (FODA). They were a loving, unstoppable team until Annie died, ironically, on Christmas Day 2004.
Ed started full time ministry on May 1, 1987. He attended Atlanta Christian College, obtained a Bachelor of Theology degree, and was ordained into the ministry in May of 1989. You can learn about FODA at the organization's web site.
You can read about Ed’s coming to the role of Santa in his book, Red Suit Diaries, which is available at any book store. It is also available as an audio book on CD and cassettes. An excerpt is available on this website on Santa's Books page.
After two years as a mall Santa, Ed was asked by Stone Mountain Park to be their Santa and he has been there every year since 1991.
His work with disabled children and adults has earned him a lot of recognition and media time. He has been featured on the Today Show three times and on NBC Nightly News. He has been on many syndicated TV and radio shows and on all local Atlanta TV stations. He has also been in USAToday, Christianity Today, Southern Living and many other newspapers and magazines. People come from all over Georgia and from surrounding states year after year to visit what they consider to be the closest thing to a “real Santa” anywhere.
Visit Ed's website at www.realthingsanta.com