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Santa came early to Geri Moulton Sculpture Park at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Midtown Mobile this week. A member of the grounds staff and a dead-ringer for the jolly old elf himself, Michael Owen spends an entire day leading a crew as they secure red and white Santa hats to more than 50 sculptures of children and pets.
A tradition since the park opened in 2001, Owen said he looks forward to the day and spends time altering some of the toppers to accommodate the special features some of the sculptures have such as pony tails and ball caps. He has several tricks up his sleeve for making sure the hats stay in place throughout the season. Owen uses duct tape, thin wire and even fishing line to secure the decorations.
The crew gets started before Thanksgiving, Owen said, because everything needs to be in place for an annual tree-lighting ceremony planned for Tuesday, Nov. 28, near the hospital courtyard. His team spent a full week working to assemble a four-story tree.
The sculpture park is located in a wooded setting along the entrance drive to USA Children's & Women's Hospital. It provides a tranquil place where children can set aside thoughts of injury and illness, where families can find respite from worry, and where the community can leave behind the stress of everyday life. All the statues were donated by patrons of the hospital.
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