SALEM, Oregon — For 77 years, unions affiliated with the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Counties Labor Chapter have hosted a free holiday party for children and their parents and grandparents (some of whom attended when they were kids). The party is held the first weekend in December at the historic Elsinore Theatre in downtown Salem.
This Dec. 3, children sang holiday songs with Norman Sylvester and Friends, watched a movie, met Santa and Mrs. Claus, then headed out with a goodie bag filled with union-made products purchased at the local unionized Fred Meyer store.
Sylvester is a member of Musicians Local 99, and Santa is played by Jack Rusen of Albany Steelworkers Local 6163 (Mrs. Claus is his wife). The emcee is Jeff Anderson, secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555. Anderson has played the part of “Elfie” for nearly 30 years.
The event is funded by local unions and unionized businesses in the tri-county area.